Making A Difference

What's a Christian? He's a person who embodies who Christ is. By making Him the Savior and Leader of his life, he has decided to follow Him. He learns to become Christ-like by reading the Bible, following His commandments, and communicating with Him through prayer, therefore creating a growing relationship with Him.

With this, he can be the "salt and light" the world can see. His words and actions will reflect the God He loves and serves, which will make others know Him.

But do we see this reflection now? Looks like it's not. The world has a negative perception of Christians. Christians are now seen as bigoted, self-righteous, judgmental, proud, selfish, any description that makes them like any ordinary person. With this, the distinction of being Christian can't be seen anymore.

And with the current times, the manner of evangelism has changed. From big crowds to speak about Christ, it has become a one-on-one life example to others. The question is: Can we ride on the tide in making a difference for Christ?


Christianity of Many Kinds
I learned of different kinds of Christians. There are those who choose to entertain all things Christian in their surroundings, those who are aggressive in winning souls for Christ, and those who insist on their moral conviction for others to follow. They fall into what's called as separatists.

There are those who mix with people for them to get along, and those who do good works to people for a good cause. They fall into what's called as culturals.

Sounds good, doesn't it? But there are downsides I see to it.  Becoming a separatist may make one isolated, close-minded or irrelevant. Becoming a cultural however may make one feel like a follower or a motive-seeker. Nothing wrong as I've learned, but there must be a better way to reach out to them effectively.

Thankfully, there's an option a Christian can be. It's becoming a restorer. Per Webster, a restorer returns something to an earlier or original condition. In this case, he returns to what Christianity ought to be. And what is it ought to be? It ought to be putting back the relationship between God and man, which was broken when sin entered in the garden.

The Christian Restorer
If there's one model of a restorer, it's no other than Jesus. He came to the world as a man and fulfilled what He needed to do. He became faithful until His work is finished. If there are things I see in Him that make up this attribute, here are two of them:

1. He is sound in everything He is.
He's a man who grew in wisdom, stature and favor with God and the people around Him. Having all these traits would make one have the complete package of what an individual should be. And with all that He had, He never failed to make time with His Father alone and recharge.

2. He reaches out to the people He meets.
With all the people He meets with every day, He reached Himself to those who people don't normally associate themselves with. He reached out to tax collectors, cheaters, sinners, adulterers, and the like. This move gave hope to them to have a new start in their lives.

With the kind of life He lived, He created a culture of beauty. It's nice to see that in spite of all the difficulties in the broken world we're living in, one can create something beautiful out of it. And in a world where hope is needed for all the needy, one can do that. And that's what Jesus did in His ministry years. This is parallel to our mission, and He gave us that example.

From that culture of beauty comes a culture of excellence. Whatever gifts and talents you have, use them in your part of the restoration process. Wherever you are is your mission field to make a difference in any possible way.  

Self-Check
When I think of the Christianity I have, I thought of how much I enjoyed learning about Him through Bible stories and preaching messages. I grew spiritually. I understood that living the Christian life is living radically for others to see a living, existing God who loves them and invites them to Him. But with all good there, I saw my life not making an impact. I became more of a culture warrior, putting my conviction to a point of judging others and hurting them due to my pride and selfishness.

At one time, I got to see my perception of a Christian, my perception of the world's thoughts about Christians, and the world's actual thoughts towards them. My perception of a Christian is that he's excellent. My perception of what the world thinks of a Christian is that he's judgmental.

Now with the world's actual thoughts of Christians, there were three that struck me the most, First was the Christian being exclusive and having the "always right" attitude. Second, the Christian focusing more on personal fulfillment above all things. This happens to remove a person from the core of Christianity. And third, the Christian treating Christianity as a ritual and not becoming any different every after church gathering. They struck me the most because I felt them, and I'm guilty of it. That needs to be changed.

With the kind of Christianity we have now that focuses on the self, it's time we need to go back to what Christianity ought to be, just like the early days. It's like that last small group session when we needed to go back to the real definition of being Jesus' disciple. It's a lot of unlearning, re-learning and learning if we're serious with this. And it still reminds us today, as we're running life's race.

Final Words
As we ended the series, we were asked on what a restorer ought to be. There were traits mentioned- being available, relevant, empathic, attractive, a good listener, one who dares to care and one who dies for another. And I agree with them. That makes one person effective for doing such.

I answered being pure-hearted. A pure-hearted person shows a good disposition to anything and anyone, He always says the good in things, in that he can bring the hope needed to bring something or someone back to life again.

I've got a lot of things to work on, especially ones that don't make me "salt and light". Most of them saw the turn-off. And it's sad to see that Christians, as the shining hope for the world, repel it to them. It will take time for the world to rebuild their trust on us Christians. And when that time comes, it's time for that hope to spark in for the broken relationship to be restored.

For all that's written here, we choose to restore because we have a Restorer who brought us up from our old self to a new creation in Him. It's time not to waste what He has worked in us for. And once we understand that, we can fulfill our mission as a restorer no matter what the times would be. It's hard, but it can be done. It's time to keep the faith alive and show to them what the true Christians are really made of.

Comments

  1. Yeah. To be like Jesus and always reach out and pour yourself to others would really drain you. I sometimes avoid reaching out to leave some juice inside of me but Jesus didn't avoid. He poured himself out and you just reminded me how he regained his strength back. He made time to commune from the source. Nice one Earl, glad you wrote this . Till next time

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