Have you wondered this? I’ve heard so many people say that they are a “bad Christian” meaning they curse or don’t go to church or don’t read their Bible. But do these things define our faith and salvation? Are these the things that make us a “Christ-follower?”
We are all works in progress (Philippians 1:6).
I tend to have higher expectations for Christians. I feel that since they claim to know Jesus Christ, they should naturally love people. They should minister to others. They should not be afraid or ashamed to share the Gospel. They should apologize. They should forgive. They should not judge but be merciful. They should keep their word. They should be selfless not selfish.
Do my standards describe who I am?
We all fall short of the glory of God and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:23-24). Christians and non-Christians fall short because we all sin. Although Christians have accepted the gift of grace from God and have asked God to rein over their lives, it won’t always look like it. Thank God that we are saved by grace not deeds.
He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.–Titus 3:5-7
We will all be held accountable to God (Romans 3:19). I need to stop looking at the “plank” in everyone else’s life and focus on the “log” in mine–the only life I have the free will to change. Which means to try to love people in the way that Jesus does – without condition. I hope to forgive even before that other person apologizes (which he/she may never do). Forgiving on the basis of a sincere apology is placing conditions on our relationships. Loving only those who love us back is conditional. Giving grace to only those who deserve it is conditional.
I encourage you to live as Jesus lived – a life without conditions and high expectations but rather a life filled with so much love, there will be room for nothing else.