Barely Christian

I sat at a little table in the middle of my local Dunkin a few weeks ago, sipping my iced coffee (hazelnut, with no added sugar, in case you care) and leaning in as a dear friend of mine asked the question that I ask myself on a daily basis.

“I don’t understand why all Christians are not completely sold out for Jesus. Why are people not ‘all in’ when He literally gave His life for us?”

She shook her head in confusion, and I shared in her bewilderment.

Ever since we both began to walk with the Lord, we have been baffled by the level of compromise characteristic of most Christians. One of the main reason I love this friend is that she is one of the few believers that I know that refuses to compromise.

This is something that I have pondered my whole life as a Christian. Why is it that we as believers try to make ourselves look as much like the world as possible?

So many Christians who I have been friends with over the years have said things to me like:

“I only listen to this song because I like the sound of the music. I know it has suggestive language and material, but it’s not that bad.”

“I only watch this TV show because I find it entertaining; I mean, I obviously don’t promote sex outside of marriage and stuff.”

“I’m only talking to this guy because I feel like he needs me to witness to him, even though I know that he likes me and he doesn’t follow Jesus.”

All through my teen years and even into college, I have been made fun of for things like not watching many mainstream TV shows that everyone loves, for not dating every guy that shows interest, and for wearing shorts and a tee shirt to go swimming. I don’t do any of these things because I want to have a “holier than thou” attitude; I do them because I love the Lord with every ounce of my being and I want every little thing that I do to honor Him.

I’m (obviously) not perfect in this. I like to be liked (duh), so I sometimes compromise my standards to please those around me. Every time I catch myself doing something that compromises my standards, I am reminded of this quote from John Piper:

“Ask the maximal righteousness question, not the minimal righteousness question.”

-John Piper

I had a professor in school who always talked about “cuddling” with sin. We like to get so close to the line with things that one little breeze would send us tumbling down the chasm.

Another example of this that I see a lot is breaking rules that we don’t agree with. I struggle with this myself. When an authority enforces a rule that I think is stupid or pointless, I find myself bending it a little bit so that I am more comfortable with it. But I need to ask myself, “Miriam, is this ‘maximal righteousness’? Are you doing everything you can to bless and glorify Jesus?” A lot of the time, I need to adjust my posture.

If you are a believer, then you are not only a child of a Father Who literally gave everything for you, but you are also His representative here on Earth. Are we as believers, especially in my generation, living in light of these truths?

Personally, I have to re-evaluate my decisions and actions daily in order to live a holy life for the glory of the Father. Believers as a whole need to step up our game when it comes to living differently than the world and seeking to please our Savior in everything.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. . .”

Colossians 3:23

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