Monday, July 15, 2013

Good Christians?

I occasionally hear people refer to themselves as “good Christians.”  For me that begs the question, good Christians as opposed to what?  I have never heard anyone refer to themselves as bad Christians.  Is there a benchmark by which Christians measure themselves against each other?  If so, I am unaware of it.  

I have always been of the notion that being Christian didn't require subjective adjectives to separate one Christian from another.  If a Christian truly subscribes to and selflessly practices the teachings of Christ, then I am totally befuddled as to how one Christian could be more Christian than another.  That would be like saying that something is more perfect.  It seems to me that all Christians would be equal in their devotion to God.

It even seems curious that Christians would be compelled to announce their faith at all.  If, in fact, one is truly a practicing Christian wouldn't it be obvious by their behavior?  I once had a shipmate in the Navy who didn’t smoke, drink, swear or lust after women.   He was always kind and tolerant toward others.  He enthusiastically carried his share of the duties about the ship.  If he said something was so then I didn’t doubt it.  He was an honorable and trustworthy person.  

He was the sort of person that, if he had found a lost wallet, he would have opened it only to determine the name and location of the owner.  He wouldn’t know the exact contents as he handed the wallet back to the owner because he would have no reason to look.  This man was a Christian.  I knew this not because he told me but for two other reasons.  

First, I knew because of the way that he behaved.  Second, after a time, a pattern of his being absent from the ship on Sundays became apparent, when we were in port and he wasn't on duty.  As we came to know each other better I became curious and asked of his denomination.  Whether this man was a known Christian, or not, it didn't matter to him because he knew that he had God in his heart.

I have also known a number of people of other faiths.  Yet, I have no recollection of one of them ever announcing their faith to me.  The person’s religious affiliation more likely came to my knowledge by their absence from work for a religious holiday or their lack of interest in Christian holidays.  Many Christians, in my experience, announce their faith as if it was an earned badge of honor rather than a divine gift to all who choose to practice it.

No comments:

Post a Comment