All people have at least some desire to ‘stand out’ from among the crowd. They want to be seen as smarter, prettier, more handsome, wealthier, more the christ, more talented, and generally just better than average.
I have news for Christians. ALL Christians are outstanding. Some just stand out in different ways than others. I want to mention 3 types of ‘Outstanding Christians.’
Number one are the Christian who stand out because of their obnoxious, overbearing, bossy, demanding, ‘holier than thou’ attitude. They are quick to call other Christians names like lazy, ignorant, backslidden, and even claim to know others are headed for hell because they attend the wrong Christian church, or haven’t been ‘baptized correctly’, or they are engaging in sinful activities such attending movies or wearing makeup. These Christians are worse than legalists. They follow to the letter the things that can be seen on the outside. They add their own brand of morality to the rules God has set.
I have personally known women who will not wear makeup or cut their hair, yet they make gossip and dissension their daily business. I have known men who demand utter submission from their wives and children, yet they themselves have not submitted anything of their own life to the God who created them. There are Christians who live in the pride of what they have accomplished and do not give God the glory. They are quick to condemn other Christians in need, or who are facing illness or trouble as ‘out of the will of God’. They are without humility. They see the small sin in their brother’s life, but ignore giant sins in their own lives. They are proud, without thankfulness, without forgiveness for others, without humility, and without repentance because they cannot see their own sins. They would not help a brother or sister in need if their lives depended upon it, because they see God as punishing those in trouble. In fact, they condemn those in need as though they themselves were without sin or need. They are hypocrites.
My son Jay defines a hypocrite like this; ‘A hypocrite is someone who – seeing an illness or trial in YOUR life says, ‘well – there is sin in you life and God is punishing you.’ BUT, when they face the SAME illness or trial themselves they say, ‘The devil is persecuting me. That proves I am doing the will of God.’
Believe me, these Christians are really outstanding. They stand out in any crowd. They make God sick. They make fellow Christians sick, and they make the whole non-Christian population despise God’s gift of salvation.
Number two are the worldly Christians. They are so much like the unsaved that they blend in completely until someone finds out they are Christians. Then the people of the world say, ‘What is the point of Christianity? It requires nothing. It is no different than anything else.’ In a world constantly seeking satisfaction through something ‘new’ and ‘different’ worldly Christianity has no appeal. The worldly Christian is a beacon leading nowhere. They are lukewarm at very best. They make God vomit.
Number three are the Christians who show their heart felt commitment to God in how they live their personal lives. They apply Bible teachings to personal actions. God can use such people to turn the tide of battles, both great and small.
I just watched ‘The Patriot’ again. Toward the end, the armies of the Colonies are beginning to retreat. The hero, seeing defeat as unacceptable, raises up the flag of the United States, and runs against the tide of the retreating army shouting ‘HOLD THE LINE’. The soldiers stop to watch him run in what appears to be the wrong way. Then some turn and began to follow him. Then the entire army turns around, charges up the hill, and wins a decisive victory.