Christian living is holistic. It is about practical Christian living in everyday life.
I remember reading from an early Christian writer living at a time when Christians were still a minority during the time of the Roman Empire. He said that Christians in many ways are not distinguishable from other people, “They do not live in separate towns or wear special clothing”. He made a list of what they are not. Then he says how they are different. “They do not practise infanticide or practice immorality. They are faithful to their marriages; they worship only the one God”. Then he also continues to mention some other things that distinguished what a Christian person does.
How different are we because of our Christian faith from others within the community?
• If you are in business would people see you as always being just, honest, and fair?
• When you speak about your family and to your family, are you respectful, courteous, and loving?
• Do you ever speak in a manner that passes sweeping judgments of another? This could include, statements made on racial, socio-economic, sexual orientation, marital status, etc. Do I speak respectfully about others, conscious that they are the ‘Beloved of God’?
• Do I join in salacious talk, jokes that do not respect the sacredness of human sexuality? Do I promote or support pornography in any way?
• Do I come across in a way that sounds like the economy is the only really important thing that the government should worry about?
• Do I hide my Christian convictions and beliefs? Am I embarrassed to say that I am a Christian?
• Do I drive in a respectful and safe manner?
• Do I come across as a hopeful person?
Of course no-one has their life all put together perfectly!
We all need to apologise to God and to each other at least sometimes.
We are called to be witnesses of the Resurrection! We do this by being who we profess to be.
So, the way we engage with God, ourselves, others and all things, should be motivated and energised by our faith. Hence, the method is the message!
In all our personal, social, parish, church activities we need to keep asking the question ‘what message is this activity giving, and what message is the manner of how we put it into practice giving’?
God Bless you today.
Bishop of Darwin