- Al Michaels
I admit that I can be a little too concerned of what others think of me, especially unbelievers. I can focus a little too much on seeming cool and okay with everything. I can be fickle in my beliefs. And that is something that I need to figure out with God and allow him to work in my life.
That being said, I firmly believe that what we do in this life is more important than we are taught to believe. And I don't think it's particularly biblical to only look ahead to eternal life. Yes, we need to be ready and to prepare, but God left us here for a purpose. And he created life and this earth and he thought it was good. So, to be like God and to be holy means to also think life and this earth is good.
It always irritates me to the core when I'm in a group of people and the worse person of that group is a christian. They can be mean or rude or outspoken or prideful. They're jerks. And the rest of the group- though definitely not perfect- are more compassionate, level-headed, thoughtful people. I get embarrassed to be on the "same team" at the christian honestly.
(I am making a lot of generalizations and blanket statements, I know, and there are a lot of Christians who are some of the best people I know. Those are the people I want to be more like and surround myself with. But, I proceed.)
We christians are so consumed with our "total depravity" and "no good in me"-ness that sometimes we use that as an excuse to not change. We've gotten this idea that this life doesn't matter and it's all about our heavenly home and we have neglected to just work on ourselves as people. Today. We leave all the work to God. He's "changing us from the inside out." So we let ourselves be the angry, mean, racist, sexist people we are because we are totally depraved. The only good in us is Christ.
We are not good people. We are jerks. And that is not a good thing. That is not just us "understanding who we are a part of Christ". No, Christ came to die for us so we could put those parts of us to death. We won't be perfect, and there are plenty of jerks out there who aren't christians, but we should be the best people in the room not the worst. We should be the kindest, the most loving, the most compassionate, the most forgiving, the most understanding because JESUS was all that to us.
It's not okay to just go around talking about how "totally depraved" we are and do nothing about it. Yes, we're sinful and evil. Fix that. Work towards holiness. And that doesn't mean that we need to be more judmental and righteous and make sure everyone lives to our standards. No, to be more holy means to be merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love. That is God describing himself in Exodus 6. Wanna be more like God? Be that. He says himself to leave the vindication and judgement to him. That's the part he doesn't want us to be like.
There are ways that I could be more unashamed of God and the gospel, but I will never apologize for trying to be a better person and caring about this world or this life. Don't be a jerk. Be a light of the gospel to a dying world. Be kind. Be loving. Help someone out physically, not just spiritually.