Faith conversations: What does Christianity look like?

During my time in college (and since) I have really come to love discussing faith with people, both Christian and Non-Christian.  I enjoy it so much because it helps me define and strengthen my own faith.  Having several conversations over the same general topic allows me to pull the bits and pieces I agree with to form my own response to an issue.

The conversation I’ve had with a few people lately is: What does Christianity look like?

This subject is on my heart because I have known multitudes of people who claim to be Christian but do not walk the walk in any way, shape, or form.  Meanwhile, I have also known multitudes of people who do not wish to be associated with Christianity, yet live loving and giving lives, while touching the hearts of all those around them.  This is worth thinking about.

The most gregarious, frustrating, annoying Christians are the ones seen by most of society.  They yell loudly that they are faithful, yet their lives are full of the most obvious contradictions.  Now, we all sin and make mistakes, but it seems like the “Christians” that non-Christians so often site are the ones who no one would want to model after.

Because this is what Christianity often “looks like,” many people don’t want to get involved.  But there is a difference between Christianity as a faith of love, and Christianity as a human interpretation.  The human version is inevitably flawed.  I have a totally different idea of what faith looks like.

I believe the Christian faith looks like love.  It is hard for any of us to love all the time–our enemies, our friends, our spouses, the needy, the church.  So often we fail at loving.  But the people I see who look the most “Christian” to me are those who are patient with me, care about me, love other people, go out of their way to help a friend of a friend of a friend, open themselves to discussion with people they disagree with, and show patience when frustration creeps up on them.  This is what Christianity looks like to me–it looks like Jesus.  And Jesus was so much better than a man. 

So for those of you who claim to be Christian, how much do you let it rock your world?  Are you careful with it?  Sometimes I treat it like another thing on my checklist: “Home? check.  Work? check.  Faith? check.  Lunch? check…”  But I challenge all of us to consider what we look like to non-Christians.

And for those of you who haven’t bought into what we preach, I don’t blame you.  But I do encourage you to think about what is stopping you–is it that you’ve been disappointed by the Christians you’ve met?  Or by the things you’ve seen “Christians” do?  Because if it is, start looking into it for yourself.  Have conversations.  Consider your values.  Read literature.  Anything.  I know there are many of you who have an immense capacity to love, and when you become aware of how much God is loving and pursuing you through Christ, you can be filled with even more love for those around you.  Hang in there.

4 thoughts on “Faith conversations: What does Christianity look like?

  1. Well said. We have trouble nailing down what Christianity looks like because of a few reasons – and those who mar faith into religion are definitely at the top.

    We’ve also managed to turn what was designed to be a personal faith in a communal context into a private faith in a private context. It’s less about community (which is love) and more about individual experience (which is pride).

    Perhaps a step back would do us all good…

    Keep the good thoughts coming!

  2. What you’ve said about what you think Christianity looks like is basically what I think Christianity should be. And the previous statements about how there are those that make Christianity look like something they’d rather not be associated with is part of the reason I’ve preferred being called “Mormon” over “Christain”, but of course it’s pretty much the same as far as the cornerstone goes. (Christ is savior, perfect, died for sins) And now it’s even kind of iffy to admit I’m Mormon, too, anyway. But anyway. So it seems you’ve put a difference on what it looks like, and what it’s general image is…

    What Christianity looks to me like then is close to the same as you. I’d also say it looks like autonomy. People co-operating together and striving towards progression, for the sake of life instead of the sake of money. That’s what I’ve liked personally about Youth Conference at my church is that there’s usually a service project, and then, y’know, showering and such, and then celebrating life. (Usually in the form of a dance, but hey, I can call it celebrating life if I wish. haha) I kind of see that as the ideal (unattainable?) society.

    I consider myself Christian, because, well, I accept Christ. There’s a lot of theological differences in my personal beliefs compared to most Christians (And perhaps even most Mormons, for that matter), but I definitely agree that what Christ represents is love.

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