There are some basic tenets of leading a Christian life - go to church, read the good word, pray sincerely and do good to others. As we seek to become more like our Lord and Savior, we search for ways to emulate the Master's life but are we missing the mark?
Modern Christianity offers us many useful things, such as access to a worldwide network of like-minded followers. However, we've also managed to isolate ourselves as a community, and in our attempt to follow Christ we've forgotten some of the most basic lessons the Master taught. If we want to genuinely live our lives as disciples of Christ, we must walk the same path Christ walked. Consider these three aspects of Christian living we often set aside.
Christ fellowshipped with all men
Christ did not spend all his time with the religious elite. In fact, there are many recorded instances of Him spending time with sinners, publicans, the unclean, and those outside his own ethnic group. As modern Christians, we often act like we're afraid of being "tainted" by the unbelievers, so we segregate ourselves from the world by belief and sect.
How are we supposed to shine as a light to the world if we're holed up in our homes, cut off from the rest of humanity? We cannot spread the good news of the gospel if all our friends, associates and colleagues share our religious convictions. We have to stop being afraid of the world and more willing to get to know all God's children. There's a difference between letting ourselves be swayed by popular worldly belief and embracing all of God's beloved children. It's time for Christians to broaden their social circles without regard to race, religion, creed or even our prejudice.
Christ focused on true doctrine
A common theme throughout much of the gospels is Christ's chastising the Pharisees and Sadducees for their pedantic views on the law. Today we have to ask ourselves, am I manifesting Christ's love through my obedience to the law, or am I holding to the law as a crutch? While the commandments lead us to Christ like behavior, we can't get so caught up in the minutiae that we forget that Christ's message is one of love.
We need to band together as Christians to proclaim God's love. Let's stop quibbling over yoga pants and movies and start using our collective voice to cheer and comfort the sick and afflicted. There are more important battles to fight than those that deal with inconsequential opinions on Christian law. When we look at the big picture, it's obvious that this work is about saving souls, not fighting among ourselves.
Christ lived a life of service
Whether feeding the multitudes, healing the afflicted or raising the dead, Christ's ministry focused on serving all those He met. Imagine the positive impact we'd have if every person who proclaimed Christianity put his hours where his mouth is and went to work. The world needs our help now. There are wars, genocides, famines, disability and death all around us. We have the power to do something about it.
As Christians, we cannot sit around in our homes and complain about the state of the world. Our lot in life is to serve, not to complain. If you don't like the world's direction, then get out and change it. Volunteer for a favorite organization, raise money, start a petition, just do something in the name of your Lord and Savior. The world has enough people sitting around and talking; Christ needs followers willing to do something.
The hallmark of a genuine Christian life is action in the name of our Savior. We live in a difficult time, and we don't have the luxury of comfortable Christianity. If you're unsure of how the Lord wants to use your time and talents, it's time to hit your knees and figure it out. Don't spend another day professing your faith without doing the work to back it up. The church needs you now.