Tuesday, December 9, 2008

10 Reasons I like Most Christians

The other list forces me to think about and write this.

1. They are people who come up to me at a church service and smile. No matter what is going on in their lives they have hope. They are consistently kind, loving and hopeful. Sure, there are bad apples, but I'm saying "most."

2. If I want to tell someone, "God told me He is going to endow me with millions of dollars," I know I had better go to my believing friends, not to unbelievers, who would laugh. Believers will actually say, "sounds plausible, God can do anything." They won't trash my dreams. If I were to say, "I know I'm still going to get married," Christians would say, "God could do that," while non Christians would probably throw statistics at me and say "I just don't want you to be disappointed."

3.Real Christians worship Jesus like their lives depend on it. They will travel hundreds of miles to be in a place where the worship is "hot" and will worship passionately, for hours. They see beyond denominational barriers and care more about if the people they worship with have the same degree of passion for Jesus as they do.

4. Most Christians rejoice when they recognize the work of the Holy Spirit in a ministry and honor a ministry where there is much fruit. They are also aware that numbers, (i.e. Joel Osteen) aren't necessarily an indicator of true success in a ministry. Jesus said if I be lifted up I will draw people unto myself. If Christ is exalted, especially Christians will be attracted.

5. Christians usually fail to pray before they act. It is one of our greatest weaknesses and one of the things we have to remind outselves of, but I love the way Christians are always trying to correct this in themselves. Sometimes I get frustrated with all the busyness of Christians and lack of faith. It's probably what I could say I don't like about Christians, but it's just one of our weaknesses in the West. As I read about Christians outside the West, I learn about incredible faith and prayer that goes on that I can be proud of. But action - there is incredible faith in action everywhere. For example, Franklin Graham's ministries that take huge sums of money to third world countries. That's in the West. But what about all of the Christians in persecuted countries who put their lives on the line as they share their faith in creative ways?

6. Most Christians, having an understanding about loving money being the root of all evil, would never hate anyone for having lots of money. It's always been understood that George W. Bush is a born-again Christian and well-to-do, and not hated by most Christians. The Grahams have quite a bit of money and have always handled it well and are not hated. There are major sports figures who declare their faith in Christ who have lots of money. They handle their money correctly, but that is beside the point. Even if they handled their money poorly. Do most Christians hate rappers and drug dealers with lots of money? Most Christians care about souls and understand that a soul is a soul, rich or poor.

7. There's something for everyone depending on which church you go to. Like one pastor said, "if you don't like the menu, try a different restaurant."

8. I like the fact that Christians don't want to be religious anymore. They have gotten away from formality in church. Pastors wear jeans. People drink coffee and eat bagels during church services.

9. True Christians know that it's not about following a set of rules - it's about a living relationship with Jesus Christ and God the Father, and about failing.

10. Christians have broken out and become very creative. There's lots of great music and movies by Christians.

For a long time now I've stopped going to "the world" in any shape or form, and have been aware that the only people to go to in time of need are my brothers and sisters in Christ. I live with a mother who is an inspiration, devoted to her husband, someone who, ah, gives her reasons to forgive and forgive. She continually forgives him, content in her life because she lives in the light of God's love. I also have a sister who married a man who also gives her plenty of reasons to forgive and she does, and demonstrates commitment and love.

I have these examples of faith and forgiveness in my life to encourage me, plus a close Christian friend with terrible health problems who continues to love God and fight the good fight of the faith, dedicating herself to other people's needs. There are so many examples we can find of Christians who "walk the walk" that we should never feel compelled to write a list of negative attributes.


Helen said...

Dear Gabrielle,
While I am not sure that number eight is such a great thing, I do think that you are right about trying to focus on what is positive about our fellow Christians.

Gabrielle Eden said...

That stems from being "eaten up" by that guy's list - it was just too negative.