Spiritual Growth and Christian Living Resources

Can Someone be Too Christian?

Can Someone be Too Christian?

Amen, Sister. God is good. Hallelujah! Let me pray for you. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it. Praise God!

You know the type - Jesus t-shirt, huge Bible in one hand, false grin from ear to ear, "Bless God" on high rotation.

And if you're like me the thought that pops into your head is, "Too Christian. He's just too Christian."

And if you're like me, when you encounter said individual you feel like vomiting. 

Because cliche-ridden, hyper-spiritual, fake Christianity is like that. I want to spew the pseudo-Christ-glorifying (really self-glorifying) attitude out of my mouth. 

When I read the Bible I don't find anyone who was "too Christian." Instead, I discover weak and often hugely flawed individuals dealing with real issues. Their problems weren't solved with a few quick hallelujahs, but giant faith and raw courage. They made mistakes yet God used them for His glory. 

God requires more than self-gratifying words. He is not impressed by appearances. We all know He looks at the heart, but what kind of heart is He pleased with?

During a recent mass in the Vatican, Pope Francis explained, “This is the Christian life: mere talk leads to vanity, to that empty pretense of being Christian – but no, that way one is not a Christian at all.”

In other words, don't just say you're a Christian, live it. 

“No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

Do what is right.

There are many paths that seem right these days, but when it comes to what is right, the Bible is explicit. The Pharisees of Jesus' time manipulated the Torah and Talmud to suit their needs and He was none too impressed. Take His Word at face value and live out its precepts.

Read the Bible. Do what it says. That's what's right. It isn't more complicated than that.

Love mercy.

Don't just like it. Don't just dish it out from time to time. But love it. Like you can't get enough.

To love mercy is to be genuine. The saying, "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven," isn't an excuse to live any way you please, but a reminder we all need mercy. A holier-than-thou attitude leaves others guilt ridden and without hope.

Genuine Christianity does not deny problems exist, but rather than wallow in pity, it perseveres till mercy comes. When you love mercy, you'll hold out for it.

The Good Samaritan loved mercy. He loved mercy more than money, more than appearances, more than popular opinion. He wasn't perfect. He didn't worship God the way Jews did. Yet his faith was genuine. He offered mercy when others feigned ignorance.

Talk the talk as much as you like but God requires we practice mercy.

Walk humbly.

King David loved God evidenced through the psalms he wrote. Yet he also had some pretty major weaknesses - such as adultery and murder. Now God knew all this about David. God knew he would miss it, yet He still chose David as King of Israel. His brothers looked more kingly but God chose the one with the right heart. God knew David had the heart to be His kind of King.

A heart that would not drink a glass of water because of the sacrifice of others (2 Samuel 23:14-17). A heart that would cry out to be clean again (Psalm 51). He saw a heart for his generation (Acts 13:36). A heart that would glorify God in all situations (Psalm 29:1-2).

A heart that would walk humbly before Him.

There are only two people who know the condition of your heart - you and God. Proper behaviour and the right conversation may fool some, but it never fools God. 

In all truth, no one can be too-Christian, but it's not the sort of person God is looking for anyway.

“The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God” (Psalm 51:17).

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I'm Sarah Coleman, an Australian author and pastor. If your heart resonated with my thoughts, sign up for my weekly blog, plus receive my free e-Book Be Amazing: You Know You Want To (in pdf and MP3).

Publication date: April 11, 2016