Monday, September 15, 2008

What does it mean to be Christian? Lessons from a non-Christian.

I just got home from a conversation with Sing. It was really good. But my head is spinning a bit trying to process it all. But God is really funny. When I came to Japan, I thought I was here to tell Japanese people about Jesus. But God turned it around on me first. He had the Japanese teach me about Jesus. God is good to me.

So, what does it mean to be Christian? What does that look like? Tonight, that question was answered for me from the perspective of a non-Christian. He told me this.

I am a Christian. That means I am going to heaven. I should be happy right? So he is jealous of me.

So I guess to him, that's what it means to be Christian. Live like you are going to heaven. If he can't see that I'm happy about it, then why would he want to go? I guess he's got a point. If I want to go to a concert, or some event that I really like, I'll think about it for a long time. And I'll look forward to it. Everyone around me knows I'm about to go someplace I love. It shows in everything I do. So why doesn't it show that I love heaven? I'm going there right? So why am I not happy? He accused me of thinking too much and making things too complicated.

He's got a point. One of the most given commands in the Bible is "rejoice." (followed closely by "don't be afraid") So why have I spent so much of my life in fear and worry and just plain unhappiness? I've been missing a key point.

It's kinda sad it's taken me so long to realize these things. This is actually the end of a conversation I had with Sing two years ago. Tonight he finally explained why he thought I wasn't a good missionary. I'm not happy. Well, I've become more happy recently, but I guess I didn't know I was happy.

In the previous post I was looking for purpose, the goal that would allow me to make it through any trials that come my way. When I asked Sing about that tonight, he told me that wasn't the problem. I already have the answer.

Recently I had the thought that you can't change the world, but you can change how you see it. I think the way I see the world, and how I see what it means to live as a Christian, has changed, just a little.

1 comment:

E. Chikeles said...

Awesome- I've been thinking about that a lot too. I tend to not always live the happy part even though I have the joy of Jesus... its a good thing He has a lot of grace for me!!

Thanks for sharing.