Being a Christian
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”1
I am sure we have all had a time in our lives when we have failed. Temptation came and we gave in. In a moment of anger, we said things we shouldn’t have. We allowed other things in our life to take priority, and we put our time with God on the backburner. In times where we have shown weakness, it is common for others to criticize or judge our behavior because we are Christians. Many people will place unrealistic expectations on Christians, which makes us believe that to be “worthy” of this title, we must strive for perfection. However, as we read in today’s verse, we were saved by God’s grace. Nothing we have done or will do gave us the right to earn this; it is a gift from God which we have access to only through Jesus Christ. I read the following poem and thought it appropriate to share.
“When I say… ‘I am a Christian’”
When I say… “I am a Christian” I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble and need someone to be my guide.
When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not trying to be strong,
I’m professing that I’m weak and pray for strength to carry on.
When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not bragging of success,
I’m admitting that I’ve failed and cannot ever pay the debt.
When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not claiming to be perfect,
my flaws are way too visible, but God believes I’m worth it.
When I say… “I am a Christian” I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches which is why I seek His Name.
When I say… “I am a Christian” I do not wish to judge.
I have no authority; I only know I’m loved!2
Before we came to Christ, we were all sinners. Sin is part of our human nature and something we will often struggle with. This is exactly why God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for us and pay the price for our sin. God knew that we would never be able to pay this penalty on our own. He knows we are not perfect and that we will stumble and fall. Proverbs 24:16 says, “The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again…”. We will never be strong enough to carry the burdens of this life alone, and that is why we are Christians! We have accepted that we are weak and need the Savior. By His grace we can continue growing in faith and move forward one step at a time. The next time someone criticizes or judges you for not being a perfect Christian, don't let it discourage you, but rather let it motivate you to seek Christ and encourage you to be more like Him.
Suggested prayer: Dear God, you know my imperfections and struggles, yet you love me anyway. There is nothing I have done or could ever do to earn your love. Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, to die for my sins, and in doing so, give me the gift of Salvation. I pray that when others judge my mistakes, that I would seek you more fervently and use that as a reminder of my daily need of you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT).
© 1998- Carol S. Wimmer.
Today's Encounter was written by: Crystal B.
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.