“You’re becoming such a curmudgeon!” one of my co-workers said to me a couple weeks ago. I had to admit I didn’t know what he was talking about. He grinned widely and said it means “a cranky old man.” It’s a comment meant to be a joke but it has got me thinking. Because the things we say we believe we don’t often live like we do. Craig Groeschel wrote “The Christian Atheist”, a book which premise is that Christians today declare that God exists and is involved in their lives, and then live like He isn’t.
We live in a society which says that they are Christian. For many it is because they go to church, at least at Christmas and Easter. For others it is cultural, and while we are getting further and further away from a Christian culture many still see themselves as Christians. And there are others who believe in the Christian message. But it isn’t what we say we believe that matters. In fact our lives declare more about what we believe than anything we may say. And for many of us our lives are not declaring what we hope they may. It is a fact I have been looking into in my own life.
It is not a bad thing to evaluate your walk with God from time to time. If you don’t you will quickly become complacent and coast through life. Paul wrote “Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it.” 2 Corinthians 13:5 MSG
Everyone of us needs to look at what our life is saying about our beliefs. Are we following Jesus or are we saying we are Christian and living like He doesn’t exist? Craig Groeschel wrote “Who do we believe in more? Ourselves or God? Our actions and decisions will reflect that.” Our actions declare what we believe. John Calvin wrote “the doer is he who from the heart embraces God’s word and testifies by his life that he really believes.” Rick Warren said something similar when he said “You only believe the part of the Bible you do.”
Paul said three times in scripture “Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ.” Philippians 1:27 NLT, Colossians 1:10, Ephesians 4:1. Our conduct says a lot about us and about what we believe, and the world around us is watching. Are we declaring the majesty of Christ, or the selfish whims of our own hearts. What is your life saying about what you believe? Is it agreeing with the words you say? It is a tough question to ask, but a very important one to answer.