6. A Distinguishing Habit of a Believer is that they know there is a cost involved in being a believer.
Don’t be mistaken and believe this will not cause any problems. Lets just highlight a few things.
You should, no you must be different from unbelievers. As such, there will be some friction. You might be irritating to your closest friends and family. They won’t understand what you are doing and why you are acting a new way. Does this mean you should change? No you do not change for them. You change to be like Him.
- The way you talk should be different.
- The way you think should be different.
- The things you listen to should be different.
- Do you look at the same TV shows?
- Do you listen to the same music?
- What about the places they go?
- What about your conversation?
There must be a noticeable change. You can enjoy TV and everything else. Yet your selection should change.
I knew I was changing when I didn’t mind hearing Gospel music in my car. I had a bad system. It was rocking. I played Snoop, Cube, Biggie, Tupac and others in my car before and after church. One day my wife had the nerve to put in a Gospel tape. Yes, I said tapes. I was heated. I wasn’t sure this relationship was going to work. She dared to change what I had on my system. I listened to the music and it was pretty decent. It was a bit strange since it didn’t talk about sex or have any profanity in it. Within time the Gangsta music was replaced by Gospel music.
This isn’t an either or proposition. We must do it with everything.
I was talking to some about their selection of TV shows. The person became upset with me when I said “You look at a lot of questionable things that are contrary to our Christian lifestyle.” I wasn’t inferring the person wasn’t a Christian. I couldn’t figure out why this person would devote so much time in things that disagree with our life style. The person felt the need to defend themselves. The person went on to tell me that she spent time doing morning devotionals.
I responded, “Are you reading and living out the things you read in the bible?” It’s a simple and straightforward question. It’s either “yes” or “no.” I wasn’t judging the person but since the opened the door I figured I’d ask. Several months later I told my wife about incident. She stated that you could only give what they can handle. Some people simply can’t accept things. The cost for that person was reducing and eliminating contrary readings from their life. It appeared the cost might have been too much for that person.
My granddaughter ate some food and it really messed up her digestive system. She was eating something that was good but her body couldn’t handle it. Some of us are like that. We can’t or don’t want to handle the good food…the Gospel.
As a minister I’m responsible to help equip you to do the work of the ministry of Christ. I have a responsibility to make sure the sermons and teachings are theologically sound and understandable. I must show you how great God is and leave out the “You’ll be a great Christian if you act or think like Yves” type of things. I don’t have a heaven or hell to give you. I can, however, lead you to the one Who does.
Your job is similar to mine. We’re compasses that lead everyone we know to the true North. Jesus. The cost is that we must change some things. The cost comes with a great benefit. The benefit of being with Him for eternity. Have you counted the cost? Have you changed? Is there a discernible difference between who you were prior to your life in Christ?