Posted by: Craig | 22 May, 2007

Christian appearances, first impressions or something linked to this…

So I have been thinking about how as Christians we appear to others and more than that how we appear to each other. I think most Christians are aware of their behavior around non-Christians and act accordingly, I mean as we all know that if we are hanging out and there are a couple of guys with us that are not believers then we are not going to spend an hour in intense prayer to use an extreme example. There are many reasons we wouldn’t do that, we would be excluding that person making them uncomfortable they would not understand etc. so we are going against the fact we are supposed to love all, I will say here that we do not do these things because we think we need to to get into heaven but that through loving Christ our hearts are changed to naturally want to do these things out of love of Jesus and love of others.

Now what has been more on my mind is how Christians can appear to other Christians, this is an area I don’t think we think before we act in often. I all christians are at different stages in their faith, to use the previous example if you just say that there are a couple of new believers rather than non-believers an hour of intense prayer can still be inappropriate depending on the new believers, it could still freak them out it could hinder their walk towards knowing God and Jesus more and in Romans 14:13-23 it says that we should not do what causes another to stumble in their walk towards God and this applies to those that know Him not at all and to those who Know him, so we should be equally aware of how our actions that we may do purely out of Love for Jesus can cause someone to stumble and so we should not do even if its out of Love for Him.

Alongside this I have noticed how different Christians respond to God differently and they can be equally along in their walk with God and know Him the same but they respond in praise and worship and action differently. There are people that may respond in prayer out loud calling believers around them to join with them in prayer, others may respond in prayer just silently with themselves and no-one around would know that they were, some people pray high speed style excitedly like a Kid with a new bike while others say little but say words where each is filled with depth and meaning, some people singing and worship in that manner brings them closer to God than anything else but for others its studying the word that brings them closest. Some people can be spiritually shy and need friendship before opening up whilst others will open up straight away and tell all, these differences can come about through past experience and through the type of personality God has given you.

There are some things though that should come through all the time such as Love, Peace, Joy etc. however they are expressed the fruits of the spirit in Ephesians should be there.

So these thoughts have challenged me to be more aware of how acting out my faith appears to others, and also that I can not use how I seen others acting out their faith as an accurate measure to where they are at in their relationship with God. The only consistent fruits of knowing God are peoples Character not personality even then we do not know where they are working from and to in the change of their character until we know them so I am challenged not to Judge peoples faith so quickly and not to assume my view is correct.

As always I will apologise for articulating what is in my head so poorly.

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