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I created a board on Pinterest last week that I entitled simply, "Faith." In my search for Scriptures and quotes to share on it, I came across two that really caught my attention. The first was a quote that said, "Stop playing 'Christian.' Be Christian."
The second was a longer one that included these two statements: "When I say ... 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide" and "When I say ... 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou. I'm just a simple sinner who received God's good grace, somehow!"
All too often, the message of Jesus gets lost in the perspective that Christians need to lead perfect lives — at least on the outside where other people can see. Of course, we are called to be holy as God is holy, but we don't get there on our own. By the grace of God, we are set free from our bondage to sin and transformed into new men and women.
As we go about our daily lives, are we living that story? Or are we trying to come across like we have it all together? I know I struggle with vulnerability big time. I don't allow others to see my true emotions. I don't enjoy talking about my failures, moments of insecurity, or tough lessons God might be teaching me. As a perfectionist, I don't like others to find or point out imperfections in me.
But if I don't share my failures, times when I doubted my faith or times when I messed up, how am I living as a testimony of God's amazing grace? How am I conveying the message of God's love and His desire to set us free from sin with those who haven't experienced the transforming power of God?
There is a reason people flock to hear testimonies, and there is a reason those stories are so powerful. They paint a picture of God, who extends grace to those who come to Him in faith. They provide an invitation into the presence of God for someone who might have previously had a skewed perspective of His character.
Boundless just concluded its ROCK THE BODY 2013 challenge, which encouraged young adults to be more involved in their churches and to find one if they didn't have one already. In light of this topic and how others perceive Christ because of our actions, let us consider this question: Are we making our churches welcoming and showing our vulnerabilities in an effort to grow together, or are we intimidating and acting like super humans?
Are we living in such a way that reflects the grace of God? We can do that with something as small as admitting when we're wrong and confidently finding forgiveness in Christ. Maybe someone asks for our forgiveness, and we immediately forgive him without holding a grudge because we are forgiven by God every day. Those are opportunities to explain to someone that we aren't perfect either, that we mess up, but that we experience the grace of God.
How do you live as a testimony of grace? What are some ways the church as a whole can do this better?
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