Gandhi once said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” It is a sad truth that much of Jesus’ reputation is formed by other people.
I’ve had instances in my life where people I trusted and looked up to—who were Christians—failed in ways that devastated me. If I’m honest, their failures were so significant it made me question if the faith we supposedly shared was all a hoax. How could someone who claims to follow Jesus do such hurtful things? I started to throw away faith in God because of the failures of people.
This led to a striking question: What if my faith is in people more than it is in Jesus himself?
The Bible is littered with failures from its most notable characters. Moses murdered a man and had a temper. King David slept with another man’s wife and then had him killed. Peter denied Jesus in his greatest hour of need. The Apostle Paul was persecuting and killing Christians! The list is extensive, proving that nobody is innocent or incapable of falling to temptation and sin, including ourselves. So why are we so surprised when it happens today?
Jesus does not say, “follow the people who say they follow me!” He simply says, “Follow ME.” I ask myself this question often, “Why do I still follow Jesus?” When I read about Jesus, I am captivated by this rebel who opposed the proud, disrupted the status quo, healed the sick, cared for the poor and marginalized, forgave his enemies, performed miracles, and spoke with infinite wisdom. There’s no one like him.
If we don’t have our own compelling reasons for deciding to follow (or continue following) Jesus, we are nominal Christians—carrying a title but without passion or power.
Prayer: Lord, when I am hurt by the failure of others, give me grace and understanding for them. Help me to know what is of you and what is not. Let me see your beauty for myself, so that I may follow you with a deep sense of personal conviction and passion