The Measure of a Christian

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King, Jr.

How do you measure against such wise words? When sheltered in your home with your doors locked tight, you steep yourself in comfort and have reprieve from the pugnacious world. You avoid controversy according to culture and your biggest challenge is getting out the door on time for 10 am church service. Discomfort is a bad word and you avoid it like the plague.

The hurting homeless face on the corner makes you feel uncomfortable. The begging stranger at the gas station annoys you with his constant hands being held out. The wide-eyed orphans in a church advertisement tends to make you scoff at the needy. Missions updates prolong your time away from the game of the day. You want to just check off your Sunday Christian box and go about your day. Done.

You leave the hard work for the more dedicated to do. The volunteer work gets done so why enlist. Children annoy you and the elderly talk too much. You just want the feel good  music, the feel good preaching, and then to disengage the rest of the week because someone else has the watch. Sunday Christian is written on your name tag and that is good enough.

Are you convicted yet? Probably not. Are you angry? Probably at least a bit annoyed. You want to leave the hard stuff to the people who embrace a challenge. You love Jesus and that’s enough. And… you are right.

But, Christian, we are called to more. We are called to move beyond Sunday mindsets. We can act in transformation from our former selves. There’s more to this faith life than a dollar in the plate and a power-point, feel-good song.

Do not conform to the ease of American Christian attitudes, but be reformed to the mind of Christ.

Romans 12:2 NIV – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

When we change our pattern, we change our hearts. We will focus up instead of on self. We step out of comfort and into God-glorifying service. Go against the grain of pleasure and complacency, and something more will follow.

Acts 20:35 – In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

As we move forward out of repose into the Christian life that we are called to, no longer measure yourself against the Sunday norm. Step up and out. We need to be more like the Lord instead of the herd in the rotating church door. Strive, instead, for Christian character and service instead of flippant attitudes.

We need to be more like the Lord instead of the herd in the rotating church door. Share on X


6 thoughts on “The Measure of a Christian

  1. I’m familiar with flippant attitudes! (My own.) Thank you for sharing this.

  2. The lesson God has been teaching me lately is to step out of my comfort zone in obedience to Him and then trust in His timing! I’m afraid I do like my comfort so this has been challenging but also rewarding and freeing! Thank you for boldly reminding us there’s more to being a Christian than sitting in church!

  3. Yes, oh yes! Wonderful post. We should indeed strive for Christian character. You have issued a good challenge to everyone who identifies as a Christian. Our calling is to be more like Christ, even when it is uncomfortable or inconvenient to do so. Loved this!

  4. So true, we need to move beyond our comfort zones and be willing to step out and be used by God. I love your point about being conformed to the mind of Christ rather than to the culture around us.

  5. Don’t know if I’m much good at this;
    in fact, yeah, prob’ly not.
    A test I’d have been glad to miss
    but it’s cancer that I’ve got.
    I should cry out to Abba-God
    but I’m too tough for that
    so in prayer I’m maybe just a fraud
    and maybe prayers fall flat.
    I model life on Thermopylae
    and Leonidas above all
    who stood unmoved, come what may
    until the final fall.
    I can’t live my life a sham,
    so I may as well die just as I am.

    #1 at FMF this week.

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