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What does the world see when it observes Christians today?
In 2005, Ron Sider published a book titled The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscious: Why are Christians Living Just Like the Rest of the World? The following is a small portion of statistics he shares about the lives of Christians in our culture today:
- Church members divorce their spouses as often as their secular neighbors.
- Church members beat their wives as often as their neighbors.
- Church members’ giving patterns indicate they are almost as materialistic as non-Christians.
- White evangelicals are the most likely people to object to neighbors of another race.
Nearly twenty years later, and many of these statistics haven’t changed. The question is, why? The answers to this question may be broad, but the root issue inevitably comes down to heart change. Many Christians use our own willpower to try to make behavioral changes to our lives, but don’t dig beneath the surface to experience real, transformational heart change.
READING & PRAYERS:
As followers of Christ, we ought not live in fear of what others think about us. At the same time, Jesus stated that the world will know we are His disciples by our love for one another (John 13:35). Do your non-Christian friends see you as judgmental, un-empathetic, and/or angry? Or do they see you as a safe, giving, loving person who is continually experiencing real heart change?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I know that inspiration and transformation are very different. And I confess there are certainly moments when I want to be inspired but not transformed. Today, I’m grateful for the reminder that Your desire or me is real, deep down, transformation. Do this work within me so that others may see Your grace and love in all I do and say. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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