• Faithfully Failing Him

Be Better

Believers we have to do better.

My husband has had this “be a better believer” mantra for several years, he even has it as all his social media handles.

I really dug deep the last couple weeks on how to be a better believer after being disappointed by the words and actions of believers around me.

Some of what I witness left me understanding why so many people want nothing to do with Christians.

If we want the world to follow Jesus, for people to act in kindness, grace, and love then as believers shouldn’t we be the example first?

Christians if we proclaim to be the hands and feet of Jesus— WE NEED TO BE THE HANDS AND FEET OF JESUS.

I am talking to myself as much as I am you.

Christians if you say you are praying for someone, actually pray for them, without ceasing. Follow up with that person to see how God is working out their troubles. Make a note on your calendar of their surgery, appointment—whatever it is they are working through. Send them a text on that day, stop them at church, reach out and let them know your words were not empty. Follow through calling out to God on their behalf.

Your words are empty without follow through to the Father.

BE A BETTER BELIEVER

Christians open up your circles. I have heard over and over that someone came to church and could not find a fit, they felt unwelcome and like an outsider.

I have felt like the unwelcome person.

Jesus welcomed and invited everyone. Believers we must also welcome and invite EVERYONE. It is hard enough for someone interested in Christ to come through those doors and even harder to find their place inside those church walls.

I remember joining a women’s group about ten years ago, I was new and I was placed in a group based on my age and current life circumstance. I walked into a tightly knit group of women and I was treated as an uninvited guest instead of welcomed to the party. I pressed on, left the group after a while, and continued going to church. Years later my husband and I started at a new church campus and we were handed a list of married groups we could join. We read the bios and found what we thought was a fit. We emailed the leaders and the response was “Our group is full.”

Christ’s table is never full.

There is always a way to welcome more.

Imagine the person who may be a new believer or not yet a believer walking into a group of Christians expecting to experience the love of Jesus and they don’t, they are treated as an outsider or worse turned away all together. Many leave and never come back. A closed circle could propel someone to walk away from the gift of eternity. We are not responsible for someone’s salvation, but we are responsible for leading them to the Father, we are responsible for showing them the love of Jesus.

Open your circles when people show up and genuinely welcome people as the savior welcomes each of us.

BE A BETTER BELIEVER

Be kind. Period.

Ask any restaurant server what their least favorite shift is. Frequently you will hear “Sunday after church.” Servers will tell you the “church crowds” are rude, inpatient, and poor tippers. Christians we have to be the example of Jesus, we should be the crowd on Sunday that is a restaurant’s favorite to serve. We should be the kindest, we should be the most patient, and we should be the most generous. Why would anyone want to hear about a loving Savior when we are not loving to those around us? Why would anyone want to know more about Jesus when the example we set for him is disdainful?

BE A BETTER BELIEVER

Give grace, loads and loads of grace. How often do we never return to a business because of one bad experience? How often do we discredit an entire school based upon one poor experience with a teacher? How often do you complain, criticize, and judge others for one mistake? Grace, we get it freely, so we need to give it as well.

BE A BETTER BELIEVER

Are you serving God expecting to be served? Are you sitting around looking for an earthly reward for your good deeds, or are you serving God because Christ served us through his death? Obedience to God is essential, expecting a reward for your obedience is of the flesh. Serve because Christ served us first.

BE A BETTER BELIEVER

Are you giving only if you have a little extra or are you giving first? If you say you can’t afford to help someone in need, look around at what you have. Could you cut off your cable to help someone else? Could you skip the overpriced latte a couple days a week? How about the pedicures and manicures, could you give more freely if you stopped serving yourself in abundance? Can we really not afford to help others or are we making sure our worldly desires are served first?

BE A BETTER BELIEVER

Are you shouting in hate or sitting silent in judgement of those who love, look, or believe different instead of inviting them to the table and showing them the love of Jesus? Christ doesn’t call you to avoid non-believers, he calls you to invite them in. It is not your job to force them to believe, it is your job to show them the life altering love of Jesus.

BE A BETTER BELIEVER

Are you reaching across the aisle on Sunday shaking hands and giving warm smiles, but on the rest of the week scowling at your neighbor? Are your comments on social media worthy of our savior’s eyes if he read them? Are you speaking words of concern in one breath but gossiping in the next?

Are you living your life as if every action, decision, and word you speak are being witnessed by Christ himself?

If not, I urge you to be a better believer.

I speak this all to myself as much as you, I am trying every day to do better.

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