I was reading a friend-of-a-friend’s blog the other day. The person was thinking stuff along the lines of, “Why are we told that we are nothing without God? Why are people who don’t have God – nothing? Even when they do amazing things? … ‘The difference is that the Christian people have God. But I say to that – that’s the only difference, and it doesn’t seem to be much.'”
It made me feel uncomfortable.
Because sometimes I feel that way too.
I thought – I’ve met God in life-changing ways, and most of the time there mightn’t be much to distinguish me from the next person.
In the end, it comes down to the biggie question – why am I a Christian? Because if I wasn’t a Christian I would probably still be a nice man. I would probably still smile lots, love my wife, give money to charity, recycle, appreciate walks on the beach. I might want to give up holidays – or even my career – to build houses or work in needy parts of the world. What marks me, a Christian, as different from the other people in this world that we share?
I think the difference is not in what I do, but in who I am – and in whom I am.
I am a Christian because it makes sense. I am a Christian because somehow my brain can handle the thought of the Creator of the Universe being intimately interested in me, even likes me – despite the fact that I drive a car with only me in it, I get grumpy with my closest friends and family, my nature is to think me first, and I want broadband more than to support a child in Africa. I am a Christian because Jesus makes the best role-model anyone could ever have. I am a Christian because love is deeper and older than any magic, and God is love. I am a Christian because I have a soul that will live long after my dying body has decayed and is no more. I am a Christian because in my weakness Holy Spirit uses me to do extraordinary things. I am a Christian because the west coast of Ireland is too beautiful to be an accident. I am a Christian because God, who is pure, looks at me through Jesus-tinted spectacles. I am a Christian because a relationship with God – Father, Son, Holy Spirit – completes me. I am a Christian because, when all is said and done, it’s not about me: it’s all about God.
This is not a creed – we don’t all have to have the same reasons. But if the difference is only in what we do, there mightn’t be very much of a difference.
Having said all of that, I’m going to ‘do a James’ – faith without deeds is dead. Christians should be different, we should stand out as being the best examples of what it is to be human. I want to put my money, time, energy where my mouth is! Anyone want to join in (and keep me accountable!)?