10 Common misconceptions about Christianity and Christians: #6 Christians are perfect people
People often think that Christians should be perfect people. Spend a few minutes talking to almost anyone outside the Christian faith, and you are almost guaranteed to hear tons of complaints they have about Christians. As Mahatma Gandhi famously said: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” True enough, just like any precious object like a diamond, when genuine diamonds exist you can be sure there will be fake ones. Let’s dive deeper into this common misconception of people about Christians—that Christians should be perfect people
This misconception makes us Christians cringe when somebody asks us about our identity in Christ. Without a shadow of a doubt, we are born of God, and thus we are children of God. We have to say it with extraordinary confidence to ourselves and everyone around us that we are indeed, children of God!
The truth is, when I say that “I am a Christian,” I am not shouting that “I am clean and perfect in all of my ways.” I’m whispering, “I went astray and lost my way, but now I’m found by God’s grace. I have received forgiveness through Jesus’ death as a righteous man because he washed me clean and lives within me”.
When I confess that “I am a Christian,” I don’t brag about my love for God, because I fail him every day and I am certainly not happy about that. I am not perfect, but Jesus believes I am worth dying for. Do you know the ONLY thing I can brag about? It’s God’s love for me…because it never fails, never gives up and runs out on me.
When I say that, “I am a Christian”, I don’t mention it to amplify that I am strong and have it all together. I’m simply saying that “I am weak, and I need Christ’s strength to carry on.” Lastly, when I mention that “I am a Christian”, I’m not saying that I am holier than anyone else. I’m just a simple sinner who genuinely pleads for her forgiveness daily and receives GOD’S GRACE which is ALWAYS BIGGER than all my sins combined! (“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” Romans 7:18)
IS GOD’S SUFFICIENT GRACE AN EXCUSE FOR ME TO LIVE IN SIN? The answer is a big “no!”. In Romans 8:12-14, we have a clear picture of who are the real heirs of Christ. “So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” The mark of the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life shows that I now belong to God; thus, it becomes natural for me to hate sin and flee from it. In other words, to know that I am a Christian I must know how sinful I am and detest it! I must choose to be led by the spirit and make war on my sin!
We must learn not to hide our struggles in life. We should be open with people about our struggles, but also let them see how Jesus is changing and growing us. Don’t try to make people think you are perfect. Help them see that even when you fail, Jesus is there is forgive you and restore you. Let them know that they can experience his love too!