I looked up a definition of the word “Christian ” and I found that it means “a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and His teachings.” It’s a great definition and I know we all have our own definition that comes close to this one. The most common idea attached to being a Christian is the idea of following religion or of being religious. More recently, the Church has made an effort to emphasize the relationship aspect over the religious idea. Being a Christian has been redefined as having a relationship with Christ and distancing oneself from religion. Today I want to talk about how you and I can contribute to the redefinition of the term. Our redefinition should be marked by our desire to make a strong case for love. Making a case for love that upstages the intolerance and the negative connotations that are sometimes associated with being a Christian by people outside the Church.
When I profess that I am a Christian, some people see me as a conservative, rigid, and judgmental fellow until they get to know me better. Isn’t it sad that the world sees Christianity as a form of intolerance and narrow-mindedness just because of how it is portrayed in the media and by some leaders? Politics has taken on a Christian stand that promotes rejection of certain religions, beliefs and ideas. Would it be fair if I called myself a follower of Christ but all I talked about was how people outside the Church are bad, doomed, are the enemies or how they should be segregated because they don’t believe in God? What would Jesus say? Our case for love needs to be solid. We need to let our lives be a living testimony for love and for who the Lord is.
The Lord called us to love Him and to love our neighbor as ourself (Matthew 22:39). This mandate can change lives if we carry it out and embrace it above any ideologies man created as part of a biased definition of love. Being a Christian is not about how much we get and receive. It’s about how much we give. I want my life to testify to the fact that love and acceptance are the main feelings and actions that I stand by. I know many people who feel that way. It’s about time we took off the mantle of religion and put on the garment of love once and for all. How do we get there?
The best way to make a case for love and to abide by it is to focus on the One who created it. If we make it a habit to follow the Lord and to stay in constant contact with Him through the Holy Spirit, we will get to a place where love is all that we know. It’s a place where no matter what happens or no matter whom we interact with, love will be our only response. By walking in the Spirit, we can develop a very strong sense of loving on people and accepting everyone. We can be the lights the Lord intended us to be. We can be the powerhouses that host love as the biggest force in the world. We can make a difference.
We can redefine what it means to be a Christian. Our definition can vary from the old traditional religious views. We can institute a movement with the message of the Lord with love being the biggest denominator. We are going to break barriers of discrimination and bring down fences of separation. We are going to do right by the Lord and represent Him in a way that is rarely seen in the church. We will not only love with our words but we will love with our actions. The degree of empathy and care that we are going to reach will surpass what has been seen before. We are the Christians that the world has been longing to meet. The ones who bring hope and who are trendsetters by making love the most powerful trend ever. Isn’t it what this Christian life is all about? Keep spreading love, trendsetter. You are defining great moments in history.
Suggested reading: Luke 6:31; Romans 12:9; Mark 12:31