We hear a lot these days about fakery — fake news, email or phone scams, fact checking, photo touch-ups, etc. We are left wondering if anything we hear or see is real. How do we know what or whom to trust without some standard of authenticity?
The same principle is true of Christian faith. Many individuals claim to either be followers of Christ or, at least, believe in God. In fact, according to Gallup polls, approximately 75% of Americans identify with a Christian faith. If that is accurate, what would American society look like?
The biblical writer, James, explains how we can gauge someone’s faith. He writes that unless there is outward evidence of their belief, we should question the authenticity of their faith, going so far as to wonder if it is even alive. One practical example he provides is to observe how they treat those with less status, capabilities, or money. Is there a hint of favoritism towards those with power or wealth?
What about you? Do you call yourself a Christian? How would someone know that beyond hearing you talking about it? Could a complete stranger observe you for a day and know for certain that you follow Christ’s teaching about how to treat others?
Although we know that such actions cannot save us, they do provide a marker for others. How we act or react may be the only exposure they have to Christianity. While we are not perfect, we can demonstrate that His love is.
Heavenly Father, help me to treat all people with the same dignity and worth that you demonstrated towards me. May that help draw others to you. Amen.
Go Deeper — In a world where we wonder about authenticity, let your life be one that consistently models a Christ-like love for all people. Spend some quiet time asking God’s Holy Spirit to guide you to how you can do that better, because we all need to work at being more Christ-like.
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Photo Credit: Ben White