[christian way of life]
This post is something that I have learned at one of the workshops a few days ago at the Eurasia Conference. The presenter was Jay Sunberg – pray for his family as they settle in a new country.
How should a Christian live? What does it mean when we say “We should live a Christian life”?
Those are simple questions, yet it’s extremely hard to answer them. I think the toughness lies in the very fact that when we start to answer that question, we realize that there is so much in our lives that doesn’t conform to the way God expects us to live. We don’t like to admit that.
Yet… we all want to know how to answer that question. Bill Grandi’s post “Godly” also deals with the same kind of question (and there are quite a few good answers in the comments to that post).
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, NLT
Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.
James 1:27, MSG
These are the basics of the Christian life. It doesn’t get more simple than that. When asked about what is the most important commandment of the 613, Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” (Matthew 22:37-40, MSG)
John Wesley divided these into two groups: works of Mercy and works of Piety.
|(A) Works of Mercy:||(C) Works of Piety / Holiness:|
Pure and faultless discipleship: it is the intersection of the Holiness and Compassion where both exist in the same place.
Venn Diagram comes in really handy in trying to describe the idea.
Holiness ∩ Compassion ∈ Christian way of life.
You can have holiness – and I mean, real thing, not just appearance – but without compassion and loving those who are around you, you’re useless.
You can have compassion – and do a lot of good things for the society – but if you don’t have Christ in your life, then your good works are good, but pointless.
However, when you take both of those and combine – you get the life Jesus was talking about when He said that He came so that we could live abundantly. The goal of such a life is to make those two circles intersect more.
After he explained this bit, Jay asked us what our lives would be like if we would try living like that. What our Churches would be like? His wife, Teanna, gave an answer which at first seemed weird, but it made perfect sense when she explained it.
“Dirty. Our lives will be dirty – because you would reach out to those who are not always the ‘cleanest’ of people. It would be messy.”
“A clean heart with dirty hands… is way better than clean hands and dirty heart.”
What do you think? Would you add anything else into the mix that was missing?