“I really want to make a name for myself!”
How many times have you or someone you know used this line to describe what you want to do in life? How many times have you felt you were living in the shadows of the ones who have come before us; whether it be a parent or a predecessor, you seem to be following in the footsteps of someone who has blazed the trail ahead of you.
Many of us spend most of our time trying to get out of the shadows and make our own name, because we don’t want to be seen as a “chip off the old block” or “so-and-so’s family member”. I’m not going to lie, I went through a phase myself where I wanted to make a name for myself, to get out of the limelight left in the shadow of my dad…but through that struggle to find my identity with those around me, I found that my name was made, and I had nothing to do with making my own name…and most importantly, I realized I didn’t mind the connotation.
You see, when we become Christians our identity is made…we no longer live for ourselves, because we are to live up to a name. The disciples wanted others to know that they were different…and by calling ourselves Christians, we accept the role as a follower of Christ. That role is one in which we are no longer conformed to the world…we are no longer slaves to sin…we no longer live in the shadows.
When you become a Christian, you take on the name and identity of Christ…the old passes away and the new comes to take its place. By taking on the name and identity of Christ, you tell the world, “Hey! I’m different! I’m a follower of Christ!” The question is, do you show them you are different?
Actions speak louder than words, so what are your actions saying about you? Are you living your life the way you want and proclaiming the name of Christ with your lips?
Well-known American Priest, Brennan Manning said, “The greatest single cause of Atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, and walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
Mahatmas Gandhi once made the statement, “I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are nothing like your Christ.”
Think about it…what are you saying about the name Christian with the way that you are living your life? Are you like Christ? Or are you part of the group Gandhi was talking about…make the choices that show you are a follower of Christ…or are you becoming a part of the ever growing trend of Christianity – a trend that is devastating the Church. A trend that has torn our Country apart…we must get back to Christ!