There is a lot of talk in Christian circles about being a good Christian witness. This is based upon the idea that the world (made up of non-believers) is watching us, and we should outwardly show, in some way, shape, or form, what being a Christian is about. Now, it is clear that scripture teaches us something similar, and that we are to be a people set apart in some ways; I would argue in spiritual ways and understanding. Many times this idea gets twisted into a form of legalism, which is never good.
Apart from that, I was just recently ruminating on the fact that it isn’t just important that we present ourselves to the world in certain ways, but I honestly believe it is just as important, or perhaps more important, that we present ourselves to our fellow Christians as…well, fellow Christians. When we present a life of faith and trust in God to our brothers and sisters in Christ, it strengthens our own walk, and it also heartens others.
I’ve been in different circumstances lately where a fellow Christian modeled this to me, and that in turn allows me to respond in kind. Christians are indeed supposed to be a community, a fellowship of believers. That does not always imply going to a church…but in a way it does, since every meeting of Christians, two or more, is indeed “church.” I guess the point of this post is to say this; lets really let the Holy Spirit guide us in our dealings with fellow Christians, let’s yield to Him (for it is from Him that any truly good act comes, not ourselves) in our responses to each other, and not just in our responses to the world. And yielding to the Spirit ensures that our response isn’t the fake “oh, look at me, aren’t I a good Christian” type of act.
Many are going through rough times right now, and I do believe that if we took the time to ponder the fact that we are now a part of an extended family with the same Father, and the same Brother, we may be a lot more inclined to respond the way scripture tells us too. Weep when our siblings weep, rejoice when they rejoice, pray for them, listen to them. Sometimes it isn’t the fun thing to do, or the easy thing, but with the guidance of the Spirit, it can bolster faith all around. I also urge people to notice the “weep when they weep” command; we believers know that not everything is always sunshine and light, the rain does fall on the just and the unjust alike. Laying guilt trips on people going through rough times isn’t the answer in the least, neither is bashing a believer who slips and sins. It’s all about grace and faith, folks, and helping to uphold that faith in us, and in our fellow believers, and sharing God’s grace with each other, not just the world.