Things Christians Do That Are Fundamentally Against Jesus’ Teachings
All Christians have been forgiven by our Lord Jesus Christ and we are taught to be better people: more righteous, forgiving, doing acts of charity, speaking the Gospel in His name and spreading His love to the world.
But for many Christians, our immature, self-centered earth-loving selves still hold on to our old ways of thinking and living and twist Jesus' words so we don't have to do much of anything Jesus asks us to do. We are guilty of doing the very things that Jesus told us to stop doing.
So though yes, no one is perfect and we are all a work in progress, we have to beware that we are not regressing back to our old selves with new excuses to keep doing what we shouldn't be doing. It's important that we keep our eyes on Jesus and continue to follow Him ever moving forward.
So hold onto your hats and get a good look in the mirror because we all have major internal work to do.
And something to understand: Doing and advocating actions that go against Jesus' commandments would be considered anti-Christian...as in Antichrist.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. -Ephesians 4:22-24
Living for Yourself
Though there are many issues that we have to deal with, this is the #1 cause of every other issue, because once we start living for ourselves, we stop living for God. So many of us do things to please ourselves and believe God is there to serve and bless us.
Whether chasing a career, pursuing money, being a workaholic or seeking earthly fulfillment, we always seem to think God is ONLY there to help us succeed, bring us love, make us comfortable, improve our health and increase our finances. So many Christians just pray for God to bless them with everything, but somehow never seem to get around to thinking or caring about the things of God. It's always ME, ME, ME: Give me, help me, bless ME!
Not only do we keep asking God for stuff, but also when He delivers, we DON'T even take the time to thank Him, but instead bring Him our next wish.
And then we somehow dismiss God or worse...TAKE CREDIT for all the answered prayers: "Wow, I was 'fortunate' I got through that problem" or 'I got lucky' or " I knew I could do it."
Boy we are we messed up.
We treat God like a GENIE to do our bidding, when actually WE are the ONES who are His servants.
God knows that we are in the world and have much to deal with, but He desires us to not just consider ourselves, but to open our hearts to share His love with others to further His Kingdom. Still...we never seem to have the time or energy to get too involved with His work because it just seems to get in the way of our main focus...OURSELVES!
Like a baby who only thinks about him/her self, we need to grow up!
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. - 1 Corinthians 13:11
We all have things that we are obsessed and addicted to. Things that takes up all our thoughts, energy, time, devotion, money, attention and years of our life.
Your job/career? Your home? Your pets? Your gadgets? Video games? Social Media? Netflix? Shopping? Food? Your vanity? Your reputation? Or ALL of the above? The list is endless of all the things that pull us away from God.
Now if only we could take that time, obsession and energy to do the work of God, how different would the world be?
We get instant gratification from our idols, but the satisfaction wears off fast and like a drug, we have to run out to get our next fix.
The one thing these idols will never give us is God's everlasting peace.
If Christ is our husband and we are His Bride, then we are committing adultery with our idols.
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. -1 John 2:15-17
All people are judgmental, but Jesus commanded us to stop indulging in this poisonous activity because it divides and causes people to find excuses to stop loving and caring for each other. Not only do Christians love to judge, but use the Bible and God’s name to justify our judgment, expecting God to side with us.
And it is VERY contagious. Our judging manifests into words and actions, which influences others around us to do the same.
Bad. Bad. Bad.
Our nasty finger pointing to make others look sinful and make ourselves look like saints is wrong on so many levels. We all seem to forget, that every time we judge someone, we are casting judgment on our own head. This is one of the major complaints of non-believers and why many of them decide NOT to be a Christian. It is because of US! We are the stumbling blocks!
“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.” - Matthew 7:1-5
We love money because it gives us power, makes us comfortable and gives us everything we want. Our lives and futures are dependent on how much money we have and when the money falls our fear rises. So when we have money we believe that God is blessing us, but then we idolize the money itself. Rather than relying on God to take care of us, our faith and hope is ALWAYS on the money. In CASH we TRUST!
What would happen to your faith if your money suddenly vanished? Would you panic? Resort to desperate means to get more? Where would your faith be if you lost everything?
We worry about having enough money for our retirement, but our true retirement is in heaven and many of us HAVE NOT been working on attaining any heavenly treasures.
Somehow we have separated God from our money and forget that our money comes from God. What so many Christians don't get is that if you faithfully serve the Lord, He will provide everything you need and more. Yet, how many Christians WILL NOT do God's work because it will cost them money?
"I will follow Jesus wherever He leads me... if I can afford it."
And how many churches have split because of arguments, distrust and mismanagement of MONEY.
Where does God stand in relation to your money?
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:24
Doing Things For God But Not Really
We've all heard about football stars who say they are going to play their best to win the football championship for GOD. Or those who believe they are being a good witness for Christ by doing a great job at work. Many say we must do our best in the name of God whether at work, in school or at home.
Yes, Christians must do all things with honor, integrity and responsibility, however, doing a great job at whatever is NOT A SUBSTITUTE for doing the work of God. Working for a million dollar company may be great for the bottom line, but to God...it means nothing.
How about doing something for God that will actually benefit SOMEONE ELSE? We all talk about what needs to be done in the world, but much of it is JUST talk.
So many Christians believe they have done their duty to God by putting a few dollars in the offering plate or brag about how their church has a soup kitchen, is doing mission work and donating to charity.
But how about doing something YOURSELF instead of hiding behind someone else's work.
Helping the poor? Feeding the hungry? Visiting the sick? Helping the community? Fighting injustice? Sharing the Word? Volunteering? Aiding the elderly? Welcoming a stranger? Getting involved?
Any takers? Well, how else is the Gospel supposed to be spread?
There are a lot of really important things that need to be done, especially now as the world is unraveling, but it involves ministering to OTHER people. In this way, GOD'S LOVE comes through you to others. Heed the call of God.
Get on your feet and get your hands dirty.
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” -Matthew 9:35-38
Christians have a nasty habit of thinking they are better than everyone else and that God is pleased with them. Christians are supposed to be humble, meek and kind people, but instead we have a lot of smug, arrogant and self-righteous Christians in our churches. Once we start believing we are righteous, we start separating ourselves from others whom we deem unrighteous and the next thing you know, you are treating everyone as beneath you.
We all have our own reasons for why we think we are better than non-Christians, a person of another religion or denomination, atheists, sinners and even fellow believers. Christians are notorious for being self-righteous and holier-than-thou which is not a good reputation to have.
As it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; not one does good, not even one." - Romans 3:10-12
Sorry buddy, but you ain't all that. Get over yourself and get right with God!
Jesus said, "For judgment I came into the world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind." Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, "Are we also blind?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains. - John 9:39-41
When pride comes, then come disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. - Proverbs 11:2
Following the Crowd
You see other Christians going this way and so you follow them. You see the pastor being judgmental and pointing the finger at sinners, so you do the same. Everyone is voting for this candidate because they say he is good, so you vote the same way. One Christian collects guns...hey it must be OK. Condemning gay people? My church friends do it so it must be the right thing to do.
When you are listening and following the crowd, you cease listening and following God. You are essentially turning off your mind and letting someone else lead you around to do what they think you should be doing.
Get information, think and pray about important issues that affect the world. Think about your beliefs, think about your words, and think about your actions and ASK GOD for the right answers.
Don't just go along with the crowd like a sheep following other sheep, but follow Jesus, our Good Shepherd.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. - Matthew 7:13-14
Living in Hypocrisy
So many Christians smile and pretend to be good and devoted people of God, knowing exactly all the right words to say in Church and Sunday school. But once they are outside of the church, they are back to their cold, judgmental, nasty, gossipy, critical, sarcastic, unloving and materialistic selves.
The outside doesn’t match the inside.
I guess the word would be...HYPOCRITE.
And who hasn't heard of the minister who gives a beautiful, intelligent, in-depth, heart-felt sermon only to be rude to his secretary, nasty to his wife, talks badly about those in and outside of the church, smacks his kids, and does the very things he preaches against: materialism, lust, gluttony, money worship and self-indulgence.
Then Jesus said to the crowds and his disciples, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. - Matthew 23: 1-5a
Ahhh...the true self.
Another reason that so many non-believers will not enter a Christian church.
He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." -Mark 7:6
"Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean."- Matthew 23:26
Having All Knowledge, But Lacking in Love
There are many, many Christians who seek intellectual knowledge through Bible study, Christian theology and Bible interpretation. These armchair Bible scholars can tell you everything you want to know about the Word of God and shine when people come to them for answers, but when it is time to get something done, they are no where to be found.
We study the Bible to learn what it is that God wants us to do, but to not do any of it is to live exactly as the Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes and hypocrites.
It is like studying a profession in college for years and then never getting a job in the profession that you studied for.
Jesus gave us 2 commandments to follow. Love God with all of your heart soul, strength and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.
To love God with all of your heart, soul, strength and mind means to LOVE God through worship, prayer, submission and humility, offering your service to Him as a sacrifice. If we do that, we allow His Holy Spirit to come in, lead us and give us His love that will naturally shine to all those around us...our neighbors.
You don't need to know very much to go and volunteer at a soup kitchen; or be a big brother to a fatherless child; or check in on the old woman who is living alone. Being a Christian is about personally doing things that will help and affect the lives of people around us to show them that God loves them.
If you are more concerned about keeping up with your studying than the people around you, then it's time to look inside and ask God to open your eyes to what serving God is really about: LOVE and ACTION.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. - 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Refusing to love "SINNERS"
Many Christians avoid and discriminate against people who they deem as "sinners." They see no reason they should have to talk to or communicate with sinful people or have compassion for them because in their minds they are against God. Well, Jesus didn't avoid sinners but went straight to them while it was the Pharisees and Sadducees who stayed away from sinners because they were considered "unclean".
So why did Jesus hang out with sinners? Because God created them, loves them and wants them back! The very point of Jesus on the cross is to save all of humankind and bring us to salvation, NOT to cut off the undesirables.
So if you are a Christian with no love for anyone except for yourself and all those like you, then you won't be winning any converts to your critical, judgmental and uncompassionate way of living any time soon.
Whether atheists, Muslims, immigrants, prostitutes, drug users, gay, lesbian and transgender people, many Christians believe they have the right to go against the people who they believe are sinners and nonbelievers.
But in fact, if you don't have any love for ANY of these people, you have revealed that you don't have a relationship with God at all.
God's Love is the Answer.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. -1 John 4:7-8
We love because he first loved us. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.
-1 John 4:19-21
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." - Matthew 5:43-48
Being A JERK for Christ
Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek and be meek and humble people of God, but somehow this has fallen on deaf ears and some macho Christians have decided that being a weak and timid Christian is not a good image of how they see themselves. They refuse to be a victim or doormat, so being tough is their way to stand up for God and defend Him with anger, rage and aggression.
First of all, God doesn't need anyone to stand up or defend Him.
Whether threats of hellfire or yelling at the top of your lungs, everyone can see that the person claiming to be a Christian is not doing a very good job of following Christ.
Gun toting, cursing, arrogant, ready-to-assault Christians are doing a great job of helping out the Devil who is applauding their tough, ego-driven power trip. Mean-spirited Christians seem to get a rush from accusing people and saying all kinds of nastiness...in the name of Christ.
They wear the JERKS FOR JESUS badge proudly and stand up to sin by COMMITTING sin!
Many tough guys believe it is their job to be the Warriors of Christ and must charge full force against those who they believe are against Him, but what they fail to understand is that the battle is a SPIRITUAL BATTLE, not a battle against people.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic power over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand firm - Ephesians 6:11-13
A true believer who follows Christ, lives as Christ and follows His example of FAITH, HOPE, TRUTH and LOVE.
Yet why do some Christians think that God is OK by attacking, cursing and violating people, when Jesus taught His followers to do otherwise? He taught us to love our neighbors, pray for our enemies and forgive those who have sinned against us.
Jesus NEVER said to belittle people, point at their sin, push them around or be a jerk. Those were the traits of the Pharisees. When He was arrested at night, Jesus did not resist or attack those who came to arrest Him and even stopped His disciples from standing up for Him and using violence.
While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus said to him, "Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?" And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, "Lord, shall we strike with the sword?" And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, "No more of this!" And he touched his ear and healed him." -Luke 47-51
When Jesus was beaten, mocked, assaulted and crucified, He never fought back or cursed His attackers, in fact, He forgave them.
And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not, what they are do." - Luke 23:34
And it makes no difference if you are a Bible expert, a gifted preacher or an evangelical healer. If there is NO LOVE in your heart and you believe that God has given you the authority to say and act in ways that are unChristian, don't think that God will give you a free pass.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ - Matthew 7:21-23
Believing Everything is Honky Dory
Perhaps the saddest thing is that so many Christians believe that they are doing a great job of being a Christian. They believe in Jesus, they have studied the Bible, believe all the right doctrines, pray regularly, haven't killed anyone, don't cheat on their spouses, work hard at their careers, don't do illegal things (except perhaps lying on their tax returns) and have been faithful in their churches.
Yet, unbeknownst to them, they are still not exactly where God wants them to be.
That sense of contentment where we think we have "arrived" is the first sign we are way off base. When you believe that you have fulfilled all of God's requirements and are happy with where you're at, then it is obvious that you still don't get it.
There are lots of things we still don't understand, things we have not surrendered or dealt with in our life and things we haven't done for God.
Well it's not that any of us are bad or evil, but our self-satisfaction and lack of motivation stops so many Christians from growing and moving ahead because we are just too involved with our meaningless activity. How much time is spent on the phone, prowling the Internet, keeping ourselves busy, playing games and/or doing nothing much?
Though we think God is pleased with us, there are deeper spiritual things that He wants for us, but we have stalled ourselves. We still wander into sinful thoughts; our hearts still hunger for things of this world and our souls still would rather do our own thing than serve God.
"'For I know your works; you are neither cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.'" - Revelations 3:15-19
It's all about what we DO with our faith that matters.
Humble yourself and ask Jesus to open your eyes to show you what He desires of you. Listen to His voice, wait on Him and start making the important changes in your heart, soul and mind that you have been putting off. You will discover, that there is so much more He has in store for you, but He can only come in when you have decided to follow Him wherever He goes.
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me." - Revelations 3:20
Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." - Matthew 16: 24-25.
© 2019 Edrick
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