"And you call yourself a Christian??!!"
How many times have you heard someone say, "I just can't believe what (insert name) just said or did...and they call themselves a Christian??" Maybe it has been said about someone you know. Maybe it has been said about someone in your church. Maybe it has been said about you. Maybe you have been the person that has said it. So, what is the proper "Christian behavior" anyway? I mean, do you have to dress a specific way, worship in a specific church or read a specific translation of the Bible? These are all questions that I have asked myself. Maybe you have asked yourself too. It would be so much easier if there was a "Christianity for Dummies" manual, right? But God never said it would be easy. Jesus proved that it would never be easy to live among all people and be a living witness to those who do not believe. There is a pop song and there is a phrase that talks about someone loving all of "your perfect imperfections." When I first heard this, I had to stop and think about this grammatically (I can't help it, I'm a teacher). "Perfect imperfections" is what is called a positive-negative. How can someone be perfectly imperfect? And how is this a quality that would cause one person to love another person? I can't tell you that I am 100% sure that it is humanly possible to find that kind of love, but I am 110% sure that it is heavenly possible for you to find someone who will love all of your "perfect imperfections." He loves us so much that he sacrificed the life of his one and only son, Jesus. God is more than capable to love all of our "perfect imperfections." So, if God loves us no matter what, then why are we talking about how a Christian should behave? It is because there are people in this world who are so unhappy with their own choices, their own lives and their own salvation that they make it their "job" to look at people who call themselves a Christian and watch them like a hawk! Any wrong move and BAM! the blade from the gallows is dropped and the executioner holding the rope gives no thought to his or her own sin. It is difficult to live a perfect life, especially when you know there are those around you that judge every choice that you are making. It is not man who we need to please, but God. I have been reading in the book of Romans and in Romans 2:1 it says, "If you think you can judge others, you are wrong. When you judge them, you are really judging yourself guilty, because you do the same things they do." It is no one's right but God's to judge you. Only God knows our hearts. Even though this is true it does not give us the right to behave however we choose, because others are watching. Most of how we should behave can be summed up in this phrase, "What Would Jesus Do?" It is very simple, but the meaning is complex. If you find yourself in a situation that is causing your will to waiver ask yourself, "What would Jesus do?" I used to be intimidated to think that Jesus and God were watching my every move, but now I find it comforting. Do I always make the right choices? No. Am I always pleasing them? No. But I am "perfectly imperfect" and that is why He loves me. "Who can accuse the people God has chosen? NO ONE, because God is the ONE who makes them right. Who can say God's people are guilty? No one, because Christ Jesus dies, but he was also raised from the dead, and now he is on God's right side, begging God for us. Can anything separate us from the love Christ has for us? Can troubles or problems or sufferings or hunger or nakedness or danger or violent death?" Romans 8:33-35 The answer is a resounding NO! No one is able to truly judge us or has the right to tell us what they feel should be the criteria for entering into the kingdom. No one, but God. I may get a little loud and a little crazy, but sometimes life calls for that. That is just me. That is part of what makes me who I am . That is my personality. Regardless of all that, God knows my heart and He sees me for what I am truly capable of. I try to love unconditionally, care compassionately and yes, laugh uncontrollably. However you see yourself, or how others may see you, the only thing that matters is that you are striving to show others the love of Christ and that you are living your life for Him perfectly imperfect every day. All Glory is His. Blessings-Nicole