A few days ago, I read posts written by a woman who talked about praying to God in the same breath as she discussed writing about deviant sexual practices and sadism in a novel I'm sure she thought Christians would be clamoring to read.
How many of you are familiar with the Biblical story of the Pharisees, of Jesus' criticism of them? He quoted the prophecy of Isaiah: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.
I'm a Christian. I've been saved. I've been baptized. I believe...in fact, I have no excuse to not believe. I've seen and experienced too much to not know that God was and is looking out for me. Surprised? Yeah...you and everybody else. I don't go around proclaiming my "status." I'm not sure I'd be the best spokesperson for divine PR. I'm no heavenly ambassador. Holy terror, maybe. Probably.
I'm always suspicious of anyone who's always telling anyone who will listen that they're Christians--but we don't see it in their behavior. If you have to tell others you belong to God, you're doing something wrong. They should be able to see it. Shouldn't they?
Not only do I not have all the answers, I'm pretty sure I don't even know all of the questions.
I once had a rubber stamp made for my first editor, Damaris Rowland: SHOW, DON'T TELL. Writers, myself included, have all been guilty of that one at one time or another. I'm also guilty of it as a Christian. I don't always walk the walk, so how could I have the right to talk the talk?
I'm a Christian, but I'm a work in progress. Slow progress. If I were being graded on it, I would not have a 4.0 grade average. Not even a 3.0, actually. I've had as much trouble with pride as I did with high school algebra. I never did master algebra, but who actually uses algebra in real life? Pride, on the other hand, can be a huge problem in the real world.
I stink at cheek-turning. And I'm often judgmental. It took me years to find the right church because, as the old joke goes, I didn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member. I'd proclaim the congregations hypocrites and be on my way. I'd justify my position by telling myself that at least I wasn't out there claiming to be doing God's will as they too often were. I finally realized that even though some church members in every church might puff themselves up and wear the designation “Christian” like a lapel pin, we were all taking the same journey.
As for me--I was and am still a screw-up. Thank God we don't get into Heaven based on performance!