I have been going to church since I was a baby. I did the children’s church thing and knew enough “Christianese” to keep people from thinking I was an all out heathen. Truth be told, before my “big surrender”, I considered myself a Christian. If someone had asked me, I would’ve said “DUH! Jesus is my homeboy!” I knew there was a God and prayed when necessary. (Before meals, right before bed and at the free throw line in a basketball game.) I had it all figured out. I was a christian. For sure.
Or so I thought.
One day during my first year of law school, I was chatting with a girl who I knew was a Christian. We somehow got to talking about faith and she said in the sweetest most genuine voice “omg! I had no idea you were a christian!”.
She was so excited.
I was devastated.
She didn’t know. She couldn’t see it. It became so obvious to me in that moment that whatever version of christianity I was living out was so pale..so luke warm..so invisible, that my own “sister in christ” couldn’t even tell that I was her sister. We had every class together. We had mutual friends. We had had countless conversations. But she had no idea.
I wasn’t mad at her. (How could I be?! She was so THRILLED!) But I was honestly mad at myself. How could someone not know that I was a believer. I mean, I had checked all the boxes.
The word tells us how other people will be able to discern who we belong to.
- Matthew 7:16-18 –By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
- Gal 5:22-23 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
- John 13:35 “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
I had to be really honest with myself. Even though I was calling myself a believer and checking a few boxes…I had no fruit. I had no Love.
I blended in.
I was everything but patient, joyful, merciful, loving, or any other fruits of the spirit. I was sassy, with a slight potty mouth and unbelievably selfish. Nothing about me said humble Christ Follower. Everything about me said LINDSAY.
So what version of Christianity had I subscribed to that had me convinced I was a believer even though there was no PROOF?
It honestly was a wake up call to me. The way I was living and the way others were perceiving me didn’t look like Jesus at all. Because I was just living in my own world, by my own rules, own morals, own everything. I was walking in self-deception.
None of us are perfect and we don’t ever have to be. But I hope that we can be honest with ourselves and ask the Lord where we are lacking in fruit so that He can be gracious to us to provide. I pray that He would do such a mighty work in us that we would produce so much fruit and shine brightly in this world for Him. I pray that we would despise blending in and rejoice in standing out for Him.
I want everyone to know I am HIS by the way I live my life, love His children and submit to His word. I don’t want there to be any confusion on who I serve and who my life belongs to.
& I want my friend to know without a shadow of a doubt that we ARE and WILL always be sisters in Christ. Because I serve the same God, boldly and unashamedly.