Being a Christian is more than just acknowledging the existence and presence of God, it goes beyond being able to say you have faith and believe God is real. James 2:19 says that even the demons acknowledge that there is one God. Acknowledging God is not considered unusual. However, Christians are not called to become part of the norm, but rather to stand out and be fully devoted followers of God. Being a follower is not just taking on the title of a ‘Christian’, it is a lifestyle, a daily proclamation of God’s love and a glorification of His kingdom.
Of course we will never be able to live exactly like Christ, but we should strive to do so daily. We should strive to live out the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians, and put the Beatitudes, found in Matthew, into action. We should walk with courage knowing we are wearing the armor of God spelled out at the end of Ephesians, and go out and tell people that God has a hope, love and purpose for everyone no matter what.
Having a personal relationship with God is part of this lifestyle. This involves spending time in the word and praying daily. It is making God your focus and the center of your life; not talking about God like He is not in the room.
This lifestyle also includes becoming the hands and feet of God. Christians are commanded all throughout scripture to take in the homeless, clothe the needy, give to the poor, love both neighbors and enemies and to respect authority. We are to live in such a way that people see the love of Christ portrayed through actions. James 2 says that faith without works is dead.
Having faith is just one step, and acknowledging God is just one part. Living a life glorifying His kingdom: that is what being a Christian is all about. It is being all in.
Francis Chan, pastor and author of Crazy Love, said, “He [Christ] wants all or nothing. The thought of a person calling himself a ‘Christian’ without being a devoted follower of Christ is absurd.”
You can’t say you have faith and not live it out, and you can’t only do good deeds in order to seal your salvation. It is a package deal; one cannot bring salvation without the other.
This lifestyle is different from those living for the world. It can be hard at times, really hard. Yet, in the end, it is worth it. Are you living a life that is glorifying God’s kingdom, or are you just acknowledging Him and wearing the title?
Williamson is a sophomore majoring in journalism and mass communications. Comments can be sent to hwilliamson15@ my.whitworth.edu.