The Best and Worst Example

I’ve heard it said that a Christian is the best and worst example of Christianity. The best when he or she does the will of God, obeys His commandments and loves his or her neighbor. The worst when he or she claims to be a Christian, but does not live or act according to Christian principles.

It seems a lot of people wear a Christian coat, but have had no change of heart or mind. Instead of following God’s way to be a Christian, they make up their own way, taking that coat off and putting it back on as it suits them.

Mahatma Gandhi had this to say about Christians:

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

“Jesus is ideal and wonderful, but you Christians—you are not like Him.”

This opens the door for Satan’s critical accusation, “Such are Christ’s people.”

“Christ is grieved today at the manifestation of unchristlike spirit and unchristlike actions among His professed followers. Many who bear His name are bringing reproach upon His cause by their unchristian words and deportment.” The Review and Herald, September 30, 1909.

“Let everyone attend most critically to himself. ‘Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.’ Body and mind must be carefully and strictly dealt with, that unchristlike traits of character and tendencies to wrong may not bear sway. … Every departure from righteousness becomes a force that works against the Lord Jesus.” The Southern Watchman, January 19, 1904.

“Many professing Christians are so engrossed with earthly cares that they have no time for the cultivation of piety. … Unsanctified inclinations and desires must be cut away as a hindrance to growth in grace.” Pacific Union Recorder, December 22, 1904.

Being like Christ, being a Christian, means that a person has had a complete change of heart, a heart that specifically and consistently chooses to do the will of God every moment of the day.

“To everyone who offers himself to the Lord for service, withholding nothing, is given power for the attainment of measureless results.” Christian Service, 257.

“Our only safety is in living in hourly communion with the high and holy principles of the Word. As we read and study the Scriptures, Christ will commune with us. …

“The Word of the eternal God is our guide. Through this Word we are made wise unto salvation. Its principles are to be ever in our hearts and on our lips. ‘It is written’ is to be our anchor. Those who make the Word of God the man of their counsel realize the weakness of the human heart and the power of divine grace to subdue every unsanctified, unholy impulse. They are almost constantly in prayer, and they have the guardianship of the holy angels. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of God lifts up a standard for them. There is harmony in the heart; for the principles of heaven bear sway.” Pacific Union Recorder, December 22, 1904.

We must never give the devil the opportunity to say of us, “Such are Christ’s people.” Daily we need to ask the Lord to live in our hearts, to make us more than just a coat-wearer, claiming Christianity, but not living the life of a Christian. We must become more and more like Him every day until that glorious morning when we will look upon His face and declare in one loud and joyous voice, “Behold, this is our God, we have waited for Him and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for Him. We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation” (Isaiah 25:9).