What Does A Christian Look Like?
Christian. It's a word we use so much, we sometimes forget what it means. What is a Christian, really? Is a Christian someone who's totally out there with her faith, preaching in front of the school every morning? Is it someone who sits quietly reading his Bible alone at the cafeteria table? Is it the faithful youth group member who volunteers for every event and leads three different Bible studies?
Sometimes it's hard to put your finger on exactly what it is that sets Christians apart from non-Christians. So we talked to a group of students to find out what they think makes a Christian a Christian. And here's what they had to say.
IYF: What are some of the myths people have about Christians?
Jennifer: Everybody says we're goody two-shoes. They think we don't have friends and don't go to the movies or go to the mall. They think all we do is read our Bibles and go to church.
Oscar: People's picture of a Christian is someone carrying their Bible around, wearing glasses and a suit and tie, walking to church. You know, kind of nerdy.
Chelsey: And some people just automatically think that, because you're a Christian, your life has been perfect—that you don't have problems or struggles.
Becky: There are also people who say they're Christians but don't really do anything about it. They give people the impression that Christians are just like anyone else, that there's nothing special about being a Christian.
James: Some people think Christians are hypocrites. There are so many people who profess Christ, but don't live it out at all.
OK, we've been dwelling on the negative stereotypes. What sort of positive things do you hear about Christians?
Jennifer: I have a friend who's not a Christian. And she'll say to me, "Jennifer, you're different." And she means that in a good way.
Oscar: You know, I think it's OK that some people are a little nervous around Christians. I think it means we have a reputation for standing up for what's right. And that scares some people.
OK, we've talked about what non-Christians think of Christians. How would you guys describe Christians? Who are we?
James: We're lovers of Christ, lovers of God. That's the essential thing. A Christian is someone who's been adopted into God's family and is radically living for him. Following God is about love. In First Peter, it says we're supposed to respond to the gospel by loving our brothers and sisters. That's a big part of who we are.
Becky: We're also not perfect. People assume I'm a Christian because I get along with my parents and my teachers and don't get into trouble. But I know I'm not perfect. I know I do bad things sometimes. But you don't have to be perfect to be a Christian. In fact, you can't be perfect. You just have to try to follow God the best you can.
Chelsey: I think it's also important to say that, while we share the same faith, Christians aren't all the same. I don't think you can bunch us all into the same group and say, "Christians are this or that," because everybody's different.