Wisdom From Strange Places
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” – Mahatma Gandhi
It probably seems all kinds of wrong to start a Christian devotional with the words of a Hindu, but Gandhi captured the essence of a problem that many share. It is likely you have heard some of the endless variations on the theme yourself. Perhaps not phrased as succinctly, and perhaps missing the admiration for Christ, but the sentiment is the same. Sadly, there are many people who claim that they simply cannot stomach the hypocrisy they see in the church. Therefore they can never be Christians. There is a perception that, as Christians, we must be above all sin, but especially hypocrisy. Regrettably, in this fallen world, we aren’t. We can strive for goodness, and kindness and faithfulness, gentleness and self control, and some days are better than others, but we often fail. And our failure is held up to the light, and tragically, because of us, Jesus is found wanting.
The thing is, God never said, look at other Christians that you may have the measure of Me. He never said that once we had turned to him and were saved that we would never sin again. He did say,
Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is no other.
Isaiah 45:22 NIV.
We all fall short of God’s glory, that’s why we needed Jesus to take our sinfulness and cover it with his blood. It is not Jesus who should be seen through us, but the other way around, his death was to make us right with God, so that instead of seeing our unworthiness, he saw Jesus. It is Jesus that we must rely on. If your faith is bound up in what other Christians are doing, then you will assuredly become discouraged. If your faith is only as strong as the Christians around you, then you are in big trouble. Lean on God and trust in Him, not the things of this damaged world.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Helen H Lemmel
Prayer: Lord help me to remember that my faith relies on you. Help me to fix my eyes on Jesus always. Amen