On Saturday, I spent a lovely day with four “sistas” in Christ at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival. On the drive down, our fearless leader, Liisa, (a gal with incredible gifts for organization and hospitality) read us a devotional she had found that actually used the topic of maple syrup as it’s basis. http://yhhs.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/real-syrup/
The devotional compared the taste and qualities of real maple syrup to that of the artificial “other stuff”. Then it went on to discuss the difference between a “real” and an “artificial” Christian.
I have eaten both the real and the fake maple syrups and have met both real and phoney Christians. I can tell you that I much prefer the “real thing” in both cases.
There are products which advertize themselves as having a “real maple syrup flavour”. On the surface, they may look, smell and taste like real maple syrup. However,when you take the time to read the label, you will find words like “simulated” and “artificial” along with a long list of unpronounceable names of chemicals that have no nutritional value whatsoever, and which may, in fact, be hazardous to your physical health.
The same can be said about people; they may look and sound like Christians, but if you were to scratch the surface a little deeper, you may find that they are, unfortunately, “Christians” in name only, lacking any spiritual value, and who may, in fact, be detrimental to your spiritual health.
Since people don’t come with labels that you can read, how can you tell if a person is a “real” or an “imitation” Christian? Well, real Christians won’t just “talk the talk” , you know the type – they spout scripture left, right and centre and tell you that they know the Bible frontwards and backwards but don’t practice what they preach.
Mat 23:27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which indeed appear beautiful outside, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
Real Christians won’t just “walk the walk” – they don’t put on a “holier than thou” attitude just because they follow a set of rules and regulations.
Luk 18:11 The Pharisee, taking up his position, said to himself these words: God, I give you praise because I am not like other men, who take more than their right, who are evil-doers, who are untrue to their wives, or even like this tax-farmer. vs. 12 Twice in the week I go without food; I give a tenth of all I have.
A real Christian “talks the walk AND walks the talk”. Their words line up with their actions and vice versa. A real Christian doesn’t just speak the words they profess to believe in, they actively live out those words because “faith without works is dead”. And the words that a real Christian needs to live out can be summed up in this scripture: Luk 10:27 … You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.
1Jn 3:10 In this way it is clear who are the children of God and who are the children of the Evil One; anyone who does not do righteousness or who has no love for his brother, is not a child of God.
Dear God, help me to be “the real thing”.