Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Modeling REAL Christianity At Your House

I was recently told on Facebook for at least the hundredth time that I would finally be a real Christian if I would click that I liked their post. Wow, if I'd only known it was that easy years ago. I hope no one actually believes that authentic faith is so simple but apparently some do.

It sure isn't at home. In fact I wonder how many of us have taken inventory lately of our closest relationships to see just how real our faith is where we live. While there's no one right answer let me suggest a few helpful questions to use in your exploration.

First, are you honest?  No, I don't mean do you overtly lie or not? Instead, do you openly talk about your weaknesses, faults, temptations and mistakes?  In some Christian homes, being near-perfect is the goal and the image that adults especially try to portray. And yet, most of the heroes of the faith in the Bible were people who struggled much of the time and were open about their humanity.  Why would we model anything different?

Second, where do you turn in the hard times? Our spouses and children will learn much about trusting God if we show them what it's like to look to Him when things aren't going well.  When they see us overtly ask God for wisdom, strength and courage they can see that God really is our source of hope. Difficulties don't develop the character of our homes as much as they reveal it.

Third, do your values at home reflect your faith?  Do you as a family or couple hoard most of what you have or freely share it? Is your home a place where visitors, neighbors, friends and those in need are welcomed. Are you looking for opportunities to serve others or to just get more for you? How do you spend the majority of your time?  What do you imply is most important at your house?

We were far from perfect at this but I'm thankful for the times in our house when we went next door with cookies at holidays, invited people from other countries to join us for meals and were as generous as we could be with our tithes and offerings.  We put a limit on extra activities so that we weren't just running around non-stop every day.  And watching our kids today freely serve God with their resources and talents makes those choices worthwhile.

Finally, are you growing closer to God or just learning more about Him?  Too many people are into more knowledge about the Bible, the details of Christ's life and even end - times scenarios than they are about growing their relationship with their Lord. Knowledge has its place but don't fall into the trap of worshiping the wrong thing or person.  Real faith is grounded in a relationship not a routine.

Somehow it's questions like us stay focused on real Christian faith, not what we say because we're supposed to or do because everyone else does. If our faith in Christ is truly genuine, then there will be a pervasive authenticity in our life, where trusting God is simply the norm, where it's what we do and who we are when no one else is looking.

So take inventory and be a real Christian today whether any of your friends hear about it or not!
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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