Have you even been to a college football game? When the visiting team puts on their jerseys and comes on the field, they are routinely and loudly “booed”. Should they be surprised?
When you or I become a Christian (AnEternalImpact.com/First-Things-First), we automatically “put on the jersey” and become a representative of God to a watching world. Our job is to be transformed by God from the INSIDE-OUT (AnEternalImpact.com/LivingFaith2) and demonstrate how awesome God is to those around us by how we live our faith.
Although we have great potential to inspire others to seek and follow God by how we live our faith, as humans, we mess up (sin) quite a bit. To an increasingly cynical and vocal world, the response to Christians who fall short of God’s greatness can be rough, many times for good reason. We get booed as the visiting team, especially when we stumble.
Compared with God’s perfection and holiness, no one stacks up. In fact the essence of Christianity is just that. We are all sinners and rely totally on God to save us from an eternity apart from Him. No amount of good deeds can help us. It’s all God.
The watching world doesn’t expect perfection; any critic who holds that standard for Christians is unreasonable. But they should expect transformation, and are looking for inspiration and hope for themselves and the world. After all, why even put on God’s jersey if it makes no discernible difference?
2 Timothy 1:9 says that, “He has saved us and called us to a holy life . . .” Several places in the Bible call us to live a holy (dedicated to God) life, a life set apart in order to show the greatness of our God. In Galatians for example, we are called to demonstrate the “fruit of the Spirit”: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
However, life change only on the outside isn’t authentic and won’t last. We need to be transformed from the INSIDE-OUT. And God is the only one who can do this. When we encounter and have a deepening relationship with God, experience how awesome and holy He is, and allow Him to change our heart, we live our faith in an authentic and powerful way. That’s the moment we truly confront the sin in our life, and humbly turn away (repent) from our bad behaviors and attitudes. We learn how to recognize and handle temptation (AnEternalImpact.com/its-just-a-cookie), and live a life that is a better reflection of God to our world.
Imagine a world where everyone who calls themselves a Christian acknowledges that it’s only God that can transform them, puts on the jersey, humbly turns away from their sins, and consistently grows in holiness. When our faith is truly lived, lives are transformed, people in need are served and equipped, and eternities are changed. It’s time to put on the jersey.