The other nite someone was lamenting that they did not live up to the standards that they had set up for themselves. I said that they should not beat themselves up about it. My friend Sean suggested that most of us would do well to raise our standards not lower them. This was in reference to walking with Christ i.e. acting more like Him. At least that is how I understood it.
Anyhow, this got me to thinking. What if we were to follow Christ in a more excellent way? What would that look like? This is not a theoretical question but a practical one.
So...I'm taking a survey. What does it look like to follow Christ in an excellent way? If you want to weigh in on this call or send an email. I'll post the results I have in a week or so.
Since Jim's writing about something I said, I should pitch in, don't you think?
The short answer is love. Christianity is supposed to be a religion of love. Our Scriptures say 'God is love.'. Real Christianity should include real, live love, love that is felt to some degree and that is most definitely acted out, not only for God and our 'loved' ones, but for neighbors and enemies, too.
I'll be the first to confess that I don't think my life has a lot of this kind of love in it. I want to grow in this area.
Real Christianity, excellent Christianity, should also include joy. Christianity is supposed to be joyful. How many joyful Christians do you know (who aren't simply in denial)? It's no wonder more people don't want to be like us as killjoy as we often are.
The kind of joy I'm talking about, again, is felt. But it also springs from a deep conviction that God is in charge and that He wants what is best for us. There's a big gap between what I want for myself and what God wants for me/what is best for me. If I want to be onboard with Him, I need to try to close the gap, or at least be willing to give up my version more.
There should be power in Christianity, power for personal change and for loving others in ministry and mission.
God's presence should be palpable periodically (how's that for alliteration!). Part of that presence should include God's guidance.
How's that for starters?
If you think I'm talking about something supernatural here, you're right. And you might think I'm stark, raving mad. But this is the kind of Christianity I distill from the Scriptures, and I'm holding out for it, even though I haven't experienced as much of it as I would like.