It’s easy to be a Christian on Sunday. You get up and go to church, go to eat with friends and family, and spend the rest of the day watching football or golf. On Sundays you are surrounded by fellow Christians and you spend time with people you like. On Sundays you are brought closer to God through worship and you are reminded that Scripture is an integral part of your life. On Sundays you are reminded of the sacrifice Jesus made on your behalf and how you need to be faithful to the One who gave so much.
It would have been easy if God only asked us to be Christians on Sundays, but He did not. Christianity is a lifelong commitment. It is not something we put off and put on. It should grab a hold of us and change us forever. It is just as important, if not more, to be a Christian Monday through Saturday as well as on Sunday. Sadly, we often fail at this. Some of us fail because we are not committed as we should be, but most of us fail because we are human. We make mistakes. We fall short even though we do not want to, but thankfully God gives us another day to do it over again. This time we will do better. This time we will not let Him down.
Just as it is easier to be a Christian on Sundays in a Christian environment, it is also easier to fall short in certain environments. If we identify the areas in which we continually fall short this may help us to be better Christians. If we know it is hard to be Christians in certain environments then we need to work on this or we may need to avoid the things which cause us to stumble. The following list is a list of places where Christians often fall short.
Internet: There are many opportunities to let down our guard while on the internet. The internet is full of websites that are sinful in nature, but this is not the only area where a Christian needs to be careful. We should be careful of what we send in e-mails. If we receive an e-mail from someone else and we are uncertain about the truthfulness or the validity of the e-mail, then we should not pass it along to others. It is always wrong to gossip or to pass along false information no matter what form it comes in. The internet, like many things, is something that can be used for good or bad. We can use e-mails as a tool for encouragement, or as a way to belittle and destroy others. We can be a Christian example on facebook and myspace, or we can let people wonder whether or not we even attend church. We can use the internet to spread the good news about Jesus Christ, or we can use it without ever mentioning our Lord and Savior who died for us. The internet is a good place for us to be a light in a dark world.
Driving: Many of us probably fall short of being a Christian while we are in the car. We may be in the car by ourself when someone cuts us off, and so we say bad things about them and we may even try to catch up to them and get revenge. Whether we are by our self or in a large crowd we need to keep our composure and act like a Christian. We may just blow up at other people while we are alone in the car, but what happens when we have a child in the car with us? What lessons are we teaching them? We also need to remember that controlling our anger is always a good thing. If a person cannot control their anger in the car, then that will eventually overflow into other places. You will risk losing control with friends, fellow Christians, and family members. If we cannot deal with a problem as small as some bad driving, then we will find it extremely difficult to handle the problems of life.
Sporting Events: There is probably more unChristian behavior at sporting events than any other place. It starts in little league and goes all the way up to the pros. Americans have a hard time understanding that it is only a game. I have witnessed parents cuss out umpires in a T-ball game, and I have been cussed at for wearing the wrong colors to a professional sporting event. When we leave our Christianity at home and don’t take it with us we need to ask ourselves this question: “What is more important, winning or being a Christian?” I think there is a great opportunity for us to learn and teach Christian principles through sports. Most kids naturally want to win, but we all need to learn there are things more important than winning. The earlier this lesson is learned the better.
Shopping: This time of year tensions can become very high at the mall and other places. It is a time of year for thankfulness and giving, but it can quickly turn into anger and rage. When we go into the world we should have a mindset of grace and not justice. Things are not going to be just. People are going to take our parking space. They are going to cut in line. They are going to bump into us and take what we are looking at. If we demand justice for these actions we will end up being as bitter as the ones we are seeking justice from. But, if we offer grace, then we will feel better and we might cause others to consider their actions.
Work Place/School: The people you work with and go to school with know you better than most people. They will have a greater opportunity to witness your shortcomings than the person at the grocery store or the person driving down the road. It is important that these coworkers, classmates, and friends see Jesus in you. It is important they see Jesus in you when you are not at your best and when they are not at theirs. We all mess up along the way, but they need to know that we are continually striving for something better.
Let us all strive to be Christlike everyday of the week and not just at the times when it comes easy. This is what being a Christian is all about.
“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…” (Rom. 8:29)