Saturday, January 24, 2009

being nice

Am I a Christian? I have been asking some friends that question recently. Or another way of putting it is “if you did not know I was in seminary would you think I was a Christian?” That also begs the question of what it means to be a Christian. Now I decided not to define Christian because there is no real set definition. Some of the militias in Africa claim to be Christian. And to be honest when I get to heaven I may find out that people who used child soldiers are there too. So if I start declaring who is or is not a Christian then I start to limit God.

But I am still curious to know if others who know me well know that I am a Christian. So far the answer is yes. Yes my friends think I am a Christian. It is nice to know this but it does not mean I can just say I am done. I still need to conform my mind to a better way of thinking. I am seeing that there are a lot of opportunities to be a totally jerk but I actually chose to be nice. Now I think that is informed by my faith. Because I know I can get a much more interesting reaction if I am a jerk.

I also suggest being nice does not get one anything. That even then I find my reaction is to be nice to people it does not earn me friends, accolades or an easier time at anything. Being nice tends to end up being null. I haven’t made any enemies but I did not make any friends either.

But I do not think it is just a matter of being nice but I saying that being a Christian has encouraged me to being nice. I think it is part of learning to love people and such. Now love is the most important thing we get from the Bible. First we have to love God and then we are to love our neighbors and ourselves. It does not matter what I learn in seminary if I do not get the love part down. So I think I am on the right road as a Christian, but I do not think being nice is the lynch pin of that.


Cafe Pasadena said...

We have to see others the way Jesus saw us: Broken. Accountable, but with compassion & forgiveness if we accept it.

What distinguishes a nice & loving Muslim or Buddhist, etc., in comparison to one who is Christian?

Anonymous said...

interesting. i'm a bible college student. and your post had me thinking. what really distinguishes christians from anyone else?

a big thing in your post was about being nice, and doing the "right" thing when you could be a jerk and get a better reaction. i think that would go along loving ones neighbor.

i think maybe people can see that we love them, but maybe what they cant see is that we love god.

its easy to show someone you love them. all you have to do is take them out to lunch (or one of numerous other things). but how do we show people that we love god?

it kind of reminds me of james with the whole works and faith stuff. people can see all of our good works, they can see us being nice and loving, but if they never see our faith the works are without fruit.

not sure if anything there made sense. but i read your blog and thought i would throw in my thoughts on it!

Pete said...

Somewhere I heard it said being a christian is being in defense for Christ - If Christ was on trial, would our acts serve as testimony?

In today's society, it may not be popular to follow the biblical teachings. Standing up for Marriage or gift of being single are the old acceptable lifestyles in Christ.