Paradox of a Christian

5 Mar

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My parents and I were about to leave a Richmond Tigers football training session a month or so ago. There were many cars around the ground leaving. It was quite a grueling process as there was only one exit and about a thousand cars. However, to my father’s surprise, there were no aggressive drivers, or impatient people beeping the horn and so on; but rather, people being patient, safe and awaiting for their turn to exit the premises. It was a stark contrast to what my father mentioned when he was at a Hillsong conference, where Christians gathered from all over the place. Christians would beep the horn, rage and be impatient when it was time for all to leave. Maybe it is because Richmond fans are so accustomed to being patient after not playing finals for 12 years, or winning a premiership for 30 years, or maybe it’s because us Christians have gotten it wrong somewhere down the line. 

There seems to be a paradox where Christians who are called to be loving, patient, kind among many other attributes, yet give off the opposite vibe to everyone else

I’ve heard statements that Christians are judgmental, impatient, rude, exclusive and are hypocrites. I believe that these people are speaking out of experience with people they know who claim to be Christians. That is crucial to know because we are representatives of God and if we give off this image, then we are doing something terribly wrong.

Personally, I have been judgmental at times, maybe rude; I’ve been exclusive a few times but that was my natural human nature (not justifying it!). However, that is in the past, it is what I do now that matters because I am in the process of growing in God and allowing the fruits of the Spirit infiltrate and influence my life.

Is it perhaps the fact that we have been saved, that we act like we have it all together? That we have worked out the answer to life, received blessings and in response to that, we gain an attitude of “I’m better than you”; giving off a sense of arrogance and superiority? Is it the fact that we become people that point out the faults of others because we have been ‘cleansed’ of ours through Grace? 

No matter what reasoning you may have, we should be displaying the fruits of the Spirit for it is the fruit that brings evidence of a relationship with God

Galatians 5:22-26 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Before we were saved, we all had sinned and missed the mark, we all needed somebody to reach out to us; needed God to reach out to us. That thought alone should be humbling enough. As we become saved, God begins his work in us (when we enable Him to do so). As he works in us, the spirit teaches us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We ought to have the advantage in those areas. People should be referring Christians as loving people, joyous people, patient people. We are to walk with humilty, knowing that God has given us the greatest gift and we can share that gift in this world.

So when you wake up, be aware of how you display yourself, how you conduct your behavior and how you treat every single person you encounter in life. The moment you are aware, you may dislike a certain characteristic in your attitude, but that’s when you enable God to work in you. Reflect, respond and grow in those areas. “You may not always find perfection, but you’ll find progress as you walk the path of righteousness” (Jarrid Wilson). We are not perfect, but that shouldn’t excuse our imperfections.

Let us eliminate the Christian paradox and look to allow God to finish the masterpiece he began in us.

Philippians 1:6 – And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Disclaimer: This post is not directed at anyone but a general idea of what I’ve heard and wanted to speak into. If you feel it impacts you, then the choice is yours on whether you want to continue doing what you are doing or look to adopt the wisdom shared in this post into your life. 

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