I identify myself as a “wimp” because I often don’t feel Christian enough. I don’t think I’m alone in feeling that way. We aren’t able to quote scripture on the fly. We don’t know the bible cover-to-cover; when the pastor says “Turn to Galatians” we turn to the Table of Contents. Politically we aren’t conservative enough to be true Republicans and we aren’t socially compassionate enough to be true Democrats (whatever “true” means in either of those cases). We shy away from praying aloud. We don’t have the stomach to tell someone they are going to hell (which is probably a good thing since we aren’t really sure about that ourselves).
There’s good news, none of those things are necessary in order to be a good Christian. If we look at what the Bible has to say about being a “good” Christian, political affiliation, Bible thumping, and public displays aren’t at the top of the list.
What seems to top the list? Love.
- “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this… ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29 – 31)
- “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
- “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4 – 7)
- “But the fruit of the Spirit is love,joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”(Galatians 5:22)
- “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
There are many other skills and talents that could help you be a better Christian or a more effective Christian. But we could spend a lifetime just getting the love thing right.