3 Things We Need to Stop Doing As Christians

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Originally Posted On: https://medium.com/@findgreaterpurpose/3-things-we-need-to-stop-doing-as-christians-20e4c71c83a4

There are endless issues that divide us politically, spiritually, culturally, emotionally. And it is more critical than ever to remain united and focused on our faith. In an effort towards engendering community, here is a list of 3 things we as Christians should avoid.

  1. In-fighting

Unfortunately, there are occasions when we judge one another — shaking our finger at how media, friends, or our own lenses, perceive other Christian denominations, groups, and individuals. We think oh gosh, that isn’t biblical, or that’s not how Christians should look or behave. But honestly, we need to remember that the practice of judgement is God’s alone.

In Mark 9:38–41, the disciples approach Jesus and tell Him that they stopped a man from dispelling demons in Jesus’ name because this man was not from their group. Then Jesus states:

“39 Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.

40 For he that is not against us is on our part.

41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.”

Even between me, my husband, and our daughters, we have different perspectives, but we still support one another as family. And that is how believers in Christ should treat one another — as members of a unit with a shared faith. We might not use the same bible translations, our sermons may be in Greek, Latin, or English, we may have pastors, preachers, ministers, or priests, our places of worship may look different, our attire may vary, but we are all one in Christ. And as such, we have the most important element in common, a Triune God. Frankly, it’s the only thing that matters. So instead of criticizing and reprimanding one another, we should listen to the Holy Spirit, walk as Christ, and let God handle the rest.

2. Hiding Our Faith

With negative terms like “Christian Nationalist” being floated in current American vernacular, concealing our beliefs to prevent issue might seem like the best way to remain under the radar and evade problems. But as Christians, we need to remember to whom we answer, and it is not the culture at large. In Matthew 10:28–33, Jesus sets the expectation, so we have no question as to what we should do when faced with persecution.

“28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”

In life, it is so easy to forget that our goal is eternal salvation, and not worldly comfort. When adversity and tragedy occurs, it can feel as if we have been abandoned by God, when in reality, he is preparing a place for us in heaven, which is a much greater blessing than any material possession, and infinite in a way that overshadows our brief existence on earth.

According to a 2022 Pew Research article, Christians account for 31.1% of the 7,657,330,000 world population, which ranks as the largest religious group in the world, with Islam at 24.9% and Unaffiliated coming in at #3 with 15.6%.

Gallup.com states that according to their 2023 US polling:

“By far the largest proportion, 68%, identify with a Christian religion, including 33% who are Protestant, 22% Catholic and 13% who identify with another Christian religion or simply as a “Christian.”

What this means is that Christians are definitely not alone, and in fact, are the majority religion within the United States as well as the world.

There is far too much facility for media to spin information — to make groups feel less integrated and more sparse than they actually are. Hopefully, the figures presented give Christians more confidence to stand up for our faith and to know that not only do we have the strength of numbers, but that Jesus has our back.

3. Cussing

I know, I know. Not the simplest habit to break, believe me. I still slip, and it is aggravating. But now that cuss words are somewhat foreign to me, it does leave a nasty aftertaste on my soul when certain words spill out, or even when I hear them spoken by others. That said, there is biblical reason to eliminate those insidious four-lettered words from our vocabulary.

In Mark 14:66–72, Jesus foretells of Peter’s denial of Him. And at the 2nd denial, Peter’s foul language is mentioned.

“70 And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.

71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.”

In a Girls Gone Bible short, Angela Halili mentions Mark’s verse, and her interpretation and insight struck a spiritual chord for me. She stated that when we curse, we not only place a distance between ourselves and Jesus, but like Peter, we are denying His very presence in our lives.

In Proverbs 4:20–22, God states that we should pay attention to His words.

“20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

John 1:1 also describes Jesus as “the Word.” Again, this emphasis shows that words are not only important to speak, select, and guard against, but they have profound meaning and should never be spoken lightly. Words can injure as much as any knife, can damage as much as any hammer, and can kill as much as any bullet. But they also glorify, bless, and save, and if Jesus is the Word incarnate, sinful speech should never pass the tongue.

“1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

I know a list seems rather trite, especially one as short as this. And to be sure, there are many more things that could be mentioned, but this is a good place to start. My prayer is that we unite as Jesus intended, boldly proclaim our faith, and use our words to heal, praise, and speak the words of God for all to hear.

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