Recently I read the following: “Rather than putting ‘Christ’ back in ‘Christmas,’ I’d settle for putting ‘Christ’ back in ‘Christians.’” That was a humbling rebuke.
But I imagine that many Christians who read this will want to quickly defend themselves and their friends. But as I have reflected on this simple statement my thoughts have been more in line with David’s response to Shimei in 2 Samuel 16. When Shimei rebukes David with cursing, David says in essence, “Maybe the LORD has sent him.”
And indeed, maybe the LORD has sent a rebuke to Christians in this simple statement.
The Bible tells us that the followers of Christ were first called Christian at Antioch. We were called Christian because we were “Little Christs.” We were the representatives of Christ to the world. And Christians lived as Christ lived. Christians responded to others as Christ responded to others.
Jesus, who turned the other cheek when insulted, taught His followers to likewise turn the other cheek when insulted. And the early followers of Christ did just that.
Jesus, who was meek and mild, taught His followers also to be meek and mild. And the early followers of Christ were.
Jesus, who was insulted Himself, taught His followers not to return insult for insult, but to return a blessing instead. And the early followers of Christ did just that.
Jesus, who was the embodiment of love, taught His followers to love their enemies and to pray for those who hated them. And the early followers of Christ did.
None of us are perfect. That’s why we need a Savior. And yet, those of us who have come to the Savior, need to remember that we are now ambassadors for Christ. And there is an unbelieving world watching us to see if what we say we believe impacts the way we live.
May each Christian represent the Savior well so that we would be worthy of the name.