People have weird ideas about what they think are ‘the requirements’ for being a Christian.
As a pastor I deal with it all the time! A few years ago, when I was dating my future wife, she would often remark… “it’s weird dating a pastor”… like I was somehow different, requiring a ‘higher’ or ‘better’ standard of behavior than any other type of person: a banker or lawyer or construction worker or teacher.
It’s actually kind of funny. Even to this day, I will meet someone on the golf course or at the bar (yes… I said the bar) and they will be cursing up a storm… and when asked ‘what do you do?’, I reply… “I’m a pastor”, everyone tries to clean up their language or behavior around me. That’s crazy! I’m no angel. I do my best… but ‘my best’ leaves a lot of room for improvement. Ok… and maybe even sometimes… I don’t do my best (shhh).
One thing that we seem to have lost in the Christian faith is the openess to ‘come as we are’. God really does accept us no matter how ‘BAD’ we think we are, or have been. I don’t make many promises… but I will make this one… God accepts us no matter how ‘BAD’ we think we are, or have been.
When we read the Scriptures we find that there is only one… yes only one… condition under which God ‘moves on’ leaving us to our own devices, and that is when we reject the invitation to be a part of God’s will and plan. Acts 19 is one such example:
When some stubbornly refused to believe and spoke evil of the Way [God’s will and plan] before the congregation, Paul left them, taking the disciples with him
If anyone is being kept from exploring faith in God because they think “I’m not good enough”, or “I have such and such a lifestyle, or habit”… I say “come as you are”.
…and it’s not just me saying it. God has been saying it forever… it’s in the Book, I promise.
‘Higher’ or ‘better’ standards have little to do with where we came from… or even where we are, but rather…
where we are going!