Practice what you preach: Christian walk should be by faith, not by Sunday attendance

Church today is becoming overrated.

I’m sure everyone has had, or knows of, that one Christian friend that was never free on the weekends. Or maybe you were that friend. I know I was.

A devoted churchgoer’s weekend may generally look like this:

Friday: worship service, fellowship

Saturday: prayer meeting, fellowship

Sunday: worship service, fellowship

Despite the fact that each day of this schedule seems to be analogous to the other, missing one day makes a great difference. So what’s the big deal?

A churchgoer’s community will be the church. Some members of the congregation become your friends, and attending that particular church becomes more enjoyable. Eventually, the congregation as a whole will feel like family.

I’ve given the excuse, “Oh, sorry I have church, but maybe next time,” one too many times. “Next time” became never, and the friends that asked eventually gave up. It didn’t matter for me, though, because I had friends at church.

In the past, I’ve been a leader on the praise team and Sunday school teacher for children. I’ve also volunteered in Vacation Bible School programs for children during summers. The more involved I was, the more volunteering became a given.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you,” Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20.

I had focused too much on my Christian walk within the Church and forgot my mission as a Christian: spreading the Word.

Today, it would be appalling to see martyrs stoned to death. Persecution of Christians, especially in a suburban town in Texas, is highly unlikely. Living the life of a Christian has become comfortable.

Many Christians hear the Word, but fail to carry it out into the world. Monumental churches are built for stature, and the congregation works to maintain it. Unsaid dress codes have formed, and the calculative nature of Christianity — racking up good deeds to be a “better” Christian — continues to thrive within the Church.

It’s easy to sum up your faith with your servitude. By focusing on how “Christian” we are, we forget how we gained our religious freedom and what it took.

The judges of our faith tend to be other Christians. The acts of servitude have become a means for acceptance and recognition.

Galatians 1:10 states, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Despite the fact that in almost every Bible lesson Christians are told that God is our only judge, the nature of humans are hard to ignore.

While many Christians are busy engrossed in their own faith walk, non-believers are being neglected. The purpose of a Christian is to reach out and share the Gospel, yet more and more non-believers have reasons to avoid religious affiliations. The mission is outside of the Church, yet many try so hard to remain with the confines of its walls.

James 1:22-24 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”

Many Christians are forgetting what they look like.

©The Baylor Lariat

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