Two types of Christians stand out to me, both for opposing reasons.
The first are those whose faith is based upon ethics. Their adherence to the Bible and a code of stringent morality most often sets them apart from others who do not encompass the same value set. The result is a cloistered lifestyle, and making anyone who lives to the contrary feel uncomfortable and judged.
While this often starts with good intentions, it quickly becomes a breeding ground for a religious spirit cloaked in the guise of purity if not challenged to maturity. It is birthed in self-righteousness, and if left unaddressed it kills the Christian and those around them.
The second are those who base their faith upon relationship with the person of the Holy Spirit. While certainly pursuing an understanding of God through classic forms of reading, prayer, and meditation, they emphasize a keen and dominant interest in knowing the Lord intimately, choosing Jesus Christ’s righteousness to be their morality through impartation.
The result is an individual who actually attracts those living outside of a pursuit of Christ, and in fact makes them jealous for it, often without being able to articulate it. This Christian thinks nothing of the public association with the wayward, and feels most alive when loving them selflessly.
Unbelievers loved being with Jesus. The dirty, the drunken, the destitute, the broken, the orphaned. And he loved being around them, to the point that observers thought he might actually be drunk in the bars and cavorting with the prostitutes.
Yet he was without sin.
Everywhere Jennifer and I go we desire to be attractive. Loving. Open. Full of Jesus. But sometimes we try and sneak into a restaurant for a date unnoticed.
Only one problem:
You can’t hide a light under a basket.
Our server Friday night, Christina, couldn’t put Levi down. And though her speech was more Mandarin than English, one thing was clear: she loved being around us at dinner. So did the restaurant manager. And the rest of the servers. There was something contagious in the air. The smell of Jesus. And they wouldn’t leave us alone.
Don’t substitute you’re pursuit of ethics for divine relationship. Intimacy with God will always produce morality, whereas ethics never produced heaven.
Souls are waiting for your personal freedom. ch: