Unfortunately in her experience she had encountered more than her fair share of those “Christians” who talked a good talk, but never walked the good walk. People who claimed to be Christian but their behaviour was no different than any other person and in some cases even worse than a non-believer in a similar circumstance. People who claimed their “Christianity” based on their attendance at church, the fact they were baptized, and tried to involve themselves in church activity as much as possible thinking that “doing” good would earn them a place in heaven.
It was hard to argue with her.
A former Pastor of ours had a saying and I think it’s a good one. “Hurt people, hurt people.”
This is true in life and in the church. Our church pews are filled with “hurt people”. Some of us hurt because of life circumstances. Some of us hurt because of unmet expectations. Some of us hurt because of bitterness, envy, malice, and unforgiveness and a host of other selfish attitudes that make us strike out at anyone just to vent our frustrations.
The sad truth is that being Christian does not guarantee that we will be free of strife or worries, in fact scripture tells us that being Christian is wrought with hardship. “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12) Our humanness hardens us and at times Christians are guilty of doing the most “ungodly” of things.
That said, we are called to resist the world and to act contrary to what may be expected when faced with trials and temptations. We are to bear fruit in the midst of suffering. It’s an impossible task without God.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Christians are known by their “fruit”. If we do not display those qualities in our daily walk then it is true to say that we are not following God as closely as we should be: No God – No Fruit. However, to try to harvest the fruit of the Spirit, we are entirely dependent on God: Know God – Know Fruit. We must fully rely on God to help us love, find joy, be at peace, have forbearance, show kindness and goodness, remain faithful, display gentleness and be self-controlled. We can do none of this on our own strength. If we try, we will fail and the world will accuse us accordingly, but if we lean on God in all circumstances, the world will notice and be astounded.