Today I became painfully aware of my failure as a Christian. Today I denied Christ. Not directly but in a Biblical sense.
In church today our pastor’s sermon was about the pursuit of happiness. That true happiness can’t come from trying to please ourselves but from serving others – giving and showing love.
This was the first week that the Church’s University started school, which meant that the church continued to fill up with students all service long. In front of me there was a college student who came early to church and sat by herself at the end of an empty row. She wore a lacy dress in a beautiful shade of red. As church went on a group of students came in and sat at the other end of the row and as the service continued more friends of these, other students trickled in. Now I have often come in to church late and squeezed in with friends on a long row. Unfortunately, today I watched as the row ran out of room until she was only half on the pew. She got up and walked out of the sanctuary. I hoped that she was just going to the restroom or that she was going to relocate to another location – my heart knew otherwise. After church, I looked around, but I didn’t see her and I knew I had failed as a Christian.
To be honest, if I was her I would have also gotten up and left. I would have felt unwanted and uncared for and I would have left feeling alone and unloved. I must admit I had a hard time listening to the rest of the sermon. I couldn’t help but think I had failed as a Christian. I should have walked out after her and invited her to sit with me or asked if I could sit with her. In all honesty, the moment I saw her sitting by herself at the beginning of church I should have asked if she wanted to sit with us. That is what a real Christian would do. It’s easy to lie to ourselves and say that they are waiting for someone and are saving a seat, but really it’s just our own excuses.
Not only was my heart heavy for this unchristian act of mine, but I couldn’t help but think of how often I fail as a Christian on a daily basis.
In Matthew 25:34-40 we read one example of what it means to be a Christian
Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
Too often I am so focused on myself and my own pride that I miss opportunities to be truly happy.
And I am so sorry.
I am so sorry that instead of speaking kindly I make snappy comments, instead of reaching out to those in need I hide inside myself, instead of showing love I let pride blind me.
I know that this is a lifelong journey and I can’t expect perfection instantly, but I am not giving up. I plan to work the rest of my life becoming more Christ like.
I pray that God will continue to work on me and my heart. thankfully I know that He will never give up on me, even when I give up on myself, or even worse give up on Him.