Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 6:1 ESV)
When I look at the sad state of affairs presently going on in our country, my heart is grieving heavily for everyone. My prayer is that we don’t end up in an all-out war in this great nation. It certainly appears that way, but it doesn’t have to be. What we have is too many of us pretending to love and not enough of us truly loving one another.
What is even sadder is that some of those who continue to hurl ugly, vicious rants, refuse to speak with love and repeatedly commit acts of hate, but feel that they are justified in what they are saying and doing.
That is not of God and never will be. Only what one does for the Master is what is going to matter in the end. I John 4:20 (ESV) declares, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.” Then that brings me to the question of this message: Is your Christian walk counterfeit or real?
First of all, let’s take a look at some characteristics, also known as marks, of a Christian. According to Prayer Blog author Ruth Esther Vawter, the description of a true Christian is found in Romans 12:9-21 (NRSV/MSG). Read and reflect on each one to see if it describes your walk as a Christian.
• Love genuinely flows from you to others. v.9
• Hate what is evil. v.9
• Hold fast to what is good. v.9
• Love one another with mutual affection. v.10
• Show honor to those whom you respect. v.10
• Be zealous when you serve the Lord. Don’t allow yourself to get “burned out.” v.11
• Continue to fuel the fire of the Holy Spirit to grow strong within you. v.11
• Be hopeful. v.12
• Be patient in suffering which makes you stronger after victory. v.12
• Persevere in prayer. Don’t quit praying in hard times. v.12
• Contribute to needy Christians. v.13
• Be creative with hospitality to strangers and those in need. v.13
• Bless those who persecute you; do not curse them. v.14
• Rejoice with those who rejoice. v.15
• Weep with those who weep. v.15
• Live in harmony with one another. v.16
• Don’t be “stuck up.” v.16
• Make friends with common people who need a good friend. v.16
• Don’t elevate yourself before others. v.16
• Discover the noble and beautiful talents of people. v.17
• Do not repay evil with evil. v.17
• When possible, live peacefully with others. v.18
• Don’t try to get even, but let God fight your battle for a better victory. v.19
• Feed your enemy, or give him a drink of water. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness and mercy. v.20
• Overcome evil actions with good deeds. v.21
If these apply to you, then your Christian walk is real. If they do not, then your Christian walk is not real; it is counterfeit.
Stop pretending because people can see through that. Live your life so that others can see Jesus shining all around you. If you are real, no one will have to wonder about your Christian walk. It will be on display without your having to wear a sign on your back professing, “I am saved, sanctified, Holy Ghost-filled, fire baptized…!”
Your actions and words toward your fellow man will show whether your Christian walk is counterfeit or real. If your walk is real, it doesn’t mean that you are perfect, but what it says is that you are striving for perfection in Christ Jesus.
There is no room in God’s kingdom for hypocrisy. Our country is in a battle with the enemy for its very own soul. If you are truly a Christian, what are you going to commit to do to help save this great nation?
Talk is cheap. We are at a crossroads, and something has to be done before things get worse. If you profess a life in Christ, you will not sit back and pretend nothing is happening, and you won’t dare say, “That doesn’t concern me,” nor will you remain silent in the face adversity. “Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross!” If your walk with Christ is on shaky ground, get up and do something about it before it’s too late. Only you know if your walk is counterfeit or real. Register for the test in Romans 12:9-21 if you are unsure!
Have a wonderfully blessed week, stay safe, get involved in righting the wrongs of social injustice, and never leave home without Him!
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at email@example.com)