I believe people, today, are looking for something that is real. They're fed up with the artificial. They are incensed by the fraudulent. They're tired of the images that so many put forth to appear real.
What is a "real" Christian? Some would have you believe it involves wearing certain types of clothing or perhaps not wearing certain types of clothing. Some say to be real you must wear your hair a specific way, or your shirt sleeves must be a particular length. Some even go as far as to say if you don't attend their church and believe like they do that you cannot possibly be a real Christian.
Is "real" something you wear? Is "real" something you put on and take off? Is it being what someone in your family or someone else thinks you should be? Is "real" being what some preacher says you should be? Is it doing your own thing? Is it bestowed on some but not on others? Is it distinguishable? If so, how?
Being a "real" Christian entails putting off labels and stigmas that we sometimes attach to certain groups of believers. The Bible tells us "The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch" (Acts 11:26). It doesn't matter whether or not you call yourself a Pentecostal, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian or any other label. What matters is this - Are you a real Christian?
To be a real Christian means believing on Jesus Christ and receiving Him as your Savior and Lord. It includes repenting, believing and forsaking your sins (Luke 13:3,5). Receiving Jesus Christ means being in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). Old friends, habits and sinful appetites drop off. In Christ all things become new. We receive a new life, faith, hope, love, joy and peace. How cool is that?
As a child of God we should emulate Him in our thinking, seeing, hearing, speaking, doing and going. We should be forgiving. We should look for the positive and the good. We should be kind, compassionate and understanding (Colossians 3:12-13). Unfortunately these traits are too often missing in Christians and churches today.
As real Christians, we are to represent Jesus at home, school, work and play - everywhere! We should seek to exemplify Him in deed and conversation. We can do this by offering words of encouragement, good deeds and being a witness to the unsaved individuals around us.
Being a real Christian, then, means we are in Christ, like Christ, for Christ and with Christ for now and throughout eternity. Friends, its time we examine our hearts and perhaps ask ourselves this question: "Am I a fake or am I the real thing?"
Until next time...enjoy the journey!
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