October 21, 2010

Change your Conduct or Change your Name...

This past Sunday, Pastor Dave shared a message that would rank right about Level 7 of The Believer's Guide to Levels of Impact for me. Key to that message was the comment, "Change your Name or Change Your Conduct." The context of it was powerful and struck a pretty loud chord with me. Couple that with some of my studying and you might understand why it got such a high rating.

I was paging through Paul's Epistles and came to Colossians 3. Colossians 3:1-4 reads, "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in god. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."

Here's the deal: If we assume the name Christian, Christ-follower, Follower of Jesus, or whatever alternative term we want to use to identify ourselves as someone who follows after Christ but doesn't identify with "Christians," then we better start acting like it.

I have been in a couple conversations lately that have me a bit stunned. They aren't new topics, but it is new people having the same problem and that problem is Hypocrisy. It is probably the trickiest subject in the Church today and none of us are usually brave enough to say anything about it because Matthew 7 pleads with us to take the plank, log or whatever out of our own eye. And I get that, I do.

But, what is so funny is that we get real excited when pastor decides to give a message like this one because "maybe those hypocrites will finally hear it." Or, "Jesus, just let them finally understand how they are living a wrong life." And WE TOTALLY MISS THE POINT!

The thing about this is we have to start recognizing how our perspective and assumptions about people are clouding our view of them and stopping us from releasing the Holy Spirit love upon those people becasue we don't have a need for them. I find myself wrestling with the fact that I make assumptions about people when I have no right to assume things about those people.

We should start praying for them and working to discover how we can better love them. That's what someone who has set their heart on things above would do if they had the chance to interact with these people.

Hey, Christians. Change your Name or Change your Conduct.

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