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And the Award Goes To…….

Awards, trophies, prizes, bonuses, and various forms of recognition are given to those that achieve some notable success in their profession.  Surely everyone has seen some awards show on television or been at a banquet where awards for outstanding achievements were honored.  In some contests, there will be the “top five” nominees and then the announcement “The award goes to….”

Have you ever considered that churches might also give out annual awards for “Best Actor” or “Musician of the Year”, “Best Supporting Staff Member” or other such recognitions?  The New Testament does not give any room for pretense, “hypocrisy”, or playing the part of a Christian.  Rather, we are called to be “like Christ” (the meaning of the word “Christian”).  We are to be “steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the LORD”.  We are to be servants above all.  However, too often, too many of us are not seen by those around us as authentic.

As Christians, we’re often blatantly — and subversively — taught that we’re happier, more spiritual, and generally better than everyone else. We’re not. 

The perpetual message of “being a good witness” and “living out your faith through actions” can promote hiding beneath a facade at the expense of spiritual authenticity, and these overused clichés are often half-truths. God never intended for us to promote the benefits of knowing God, but instead wanted us to promote GOD.  

As Christians, it’s OK to sometimes be sad and down, and we weren’t created to constantly be on a 24/7 emotional high — there’s a season for everything.  

Instead of admitting our fears, anger, guilt, shame, and sin, Christians often pretend that everything is perfect because we’ve been incessantly told that we’re meant to stand out, live radically, and “be a light to the dark world.” Thus, we would rather lie to ourselves and everyone around us rather than fail or be honestly transparent.

This is where Christian often go wrong. We idolize goodness, morality, and actions while completely ignoring Christ. 

There is only one difference between Christians and non-Christians: Christ. This is the most important difference, and Jesus wants us to recognize it.

Because without actually starting a discussion, talking about faith and spirituality, and purposefully finding out if a person has a relationship with Christ, you won’t be able to tell the difference between a Christian and non-Christian simply through observation. Nobody, not even a Christians, have the market cornered on goodness, morality, and ethical behavior. 

Instead of putting ourselves on a pedestal, we need to realize that everyone is created in God’s image, and that God loves all of creation — everyone. The point is to have a relationship with Christ. Are we working on knowing Jesus better, or simply working on trying to visibly act like we do? (Can You Really Tell the Difference Between Christians and Non-Christians?  by Stephen Mattson).