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“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Mahatma Gandhi
I came across this quote today and it jumped at me right off my computer screen. I am surprised this is the first time I’ve heard of it. I would have expected to hear it thrown at Christians much more often. Upon first glance I thought this was a wonderful quote; I like many of you am tired of the misguided Christians. However, when I read this quote again God spoke something different into my spirit; I am so happy I took a second glance.
How often have we heard “What would Jesus do?” thrown at Christians as a defense mechanism? Of course we should strive to be Christlike; like Christ…not to be Christ. I Corinthians 11:1 tells us to be imitators of Christ. Have you ever tried to imitate something or someone? Did people actually mistake you for the person you were imitating? An imitator can do well for a while but it usually doesn’t go unnoticed that he or she is just an imitation.
I am reminded of imitation cheese, imitation milk, or even imitation sugar. Many people were raised eating these items and loved the taste of them…that is until they taste the real thing! Remember when fast food restaurants like Wendy’s started using 100% real beef (so they say)? Other fast food chains had no choice but to jump on board because customers now had a taste of the real deal.
That’s just it, we imitate Christ! We are not Him! We cannot provide the real deal, we can simply tell you where to find Him. Unfortunately no matter how hard we try we are not going to be perfect. Only He was without sin and perfect. He and He alone knew the right thing to say to each and every person He encountered. We cannot ever achieve that, and that is okay because that is not what we are called to do. But the enemy loves to throw it into our face doesn’t he?
I think the WWJD phenomena and the quotes like the one mentioned from Gandhi can be used by the enemy to quiet us, make us feel inadequate, and stop us from our purpose. Many use these sayings as attacks on Christians when we do something wrong to shut us down.
How many times have you been hit with the “Only God can judge” scripture. Oh you haven’t seen that one? I think it’s found in I Tupac 7:13
Seriously, we are never going to get it right; we continue to try and that’s all we can do. We are called to account for our own lives and try our best to lead others to Christ. I challenge you to stay encouraged. You will fall, you will offend, you will sin! Luckily we are not the givers of our salvation, or anyone else’s for that matter. The next time the enemy throws one of these
quotes criticisms your way let it be known that while you are not Him, you do know of a perfect man. And remember as perfect as Jesus was, many still didn’t receive Him. Finally in response to Mahatma Gandhi I direct your attention to John 15:18 ” If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” NIV