When I say that 'I am a Christian', I am not shouting that 'I am clean living.
I'm whispering 'I was lost, but now I'm found and forgiven.'
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.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect.
My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.
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!
Someone e-mailed me this poem today. It really struck a cord with me, so I in turn e-mailed it to a bunch of other folks. I wanted to share it here too because sometimes people:
1) forget what being a Christian truly is.
2) are judged wrongly because they claim to be a Christian.
What I mean is, we Christians are often exactly the opposite of this poem. Being a Christian is not about choosing to abstain from alcohol or cigarettes or 'R' rated movies! Back when I was a kid growing up, that was exactly what being a Christian looked like to me. Lot's of "don't's". I was okay with it and thought I was a pretty great Christian because I didn't do any of the "bad" things others out in the world did. As a young adult, however, the line between the "bad" things and things I wanted to do became blurred. It took a while before I understood that "sin" was about disobedience to Christ, not disobedience to the rules of any certain denomination.
Being a Christian is also not something to boast or brag about. What exactly did we Christians do to boast about??? Not a thing. JESUS did it all! We stumble. We fail. We fall. We are weak. We make messes out of our lives. But because of JESUS, we can get up! We can hold our heads high despite what we have in our past. We're made strong through Him!
I know many people who are not Christians see us as a "holier than thou" crowd. That's really sad. It's our own fault too. They totally miss seeing JESUS in us because they can't see past our judgement. Our rules. Our "you must fit in this box or you are not a Christian" mentality.
It's kind of a tricky situation, this "being a Christian" thing. On one hand, we are not supposed to judge. That's God's job. Yet we are supposed to speak the truth about sin. Take my previous post as example. I am not judging Mr. Boltz or anyone else who is gay or lesbian. I've made my points about why I believe they are living wrongly, so I won't get into them again. But the world would say I'm judging them, being holier than thou because I am not gay. The world forgets that I have my own struggles with sin. My own temptations. It may not be homosexuality, but they are there nonetheless.
But the above poem really spells it out pretty plainly. That is exactly what I mean when I say I am a Christian. I am a sinner saved by Grace.
And that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!