What Do I Say about God?

Recently I commented about the trend that seems to be catching on among Christians to duck the name. Not that they are embarrassed by Christ, they tell us, but because of what the world thinks of Christians.

And clearly, I see this problem. Why not start over, with a new name? Then people won’t have a preconceived idea of who we are before we even open our mouths.

But I question if the problem is in what we’re called. After all “Christian,” as I understand it, was first used as a name to discredit those who believed Jesus to be the Messiah. The name was derogatory … but accurate.

Today we have a greater burden, perhaps. The name is derogatory and inaccurate (i. e., Christians do not act or believe the way the world has us pictured). But perhaps that last part has as much to do with us as it does with the ones talking about us, as some of the commenters to the post “What Are Christians Known For?” said.

Here’s what I’m thinking. When Jesus left, He commissioned His disciples to replicate—to make other disciples. While He was here on earth, He told His followers they were light, that they were to so shine that men might see their good works and glorify their Father. He also said that no one after lighting a lamp puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand.

As I confessed yesterday, too often in my life, I’ve hidden the light of Jesus. So I have to ask, what would my life look like if I am to let my light shine? Which brings me to the title of this post.

I think my light shines dimly or brightly according to what I say about God. And by “say” I actually mean more than just words.

I can “say” all kinds of things. I can even believe them at the cognitive level. I can say it’s going to rain, for example. I can believe it’s going to rain. But do I take an umbrella with me?

So, what am I saying about God? I can list out a good number of His attributes, all things I believe Scripture reveals about Him. But if I am to let my light shine, it seems to me the real question is, So what?

In what way does my life verify my belief that God is Holy, for instance. Or compassionate. Merciful, long-suffering, forgiving, just. Am I content to say, God is a giver, so He should give to me? Or am I willing to dig into Scripture and learn more of Him, then let Him shine His light through me?

Published in: on July 15, 2009 at 10:51 am  Comments (8)  
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  1. I was just listening to a book show on the radio. They were talking about Twilight. One of the presenters said that the author had a deep Mormon background, so the books was “full of Christian symbolism”.

    You must be a very bad Christian, Becky, because I never hear you quoting from the book of Mormon.


  2. How many times have we written simultaneous posts which relate to a similar topic?! Kind of amazing. Wrote mine early this morning. It’s not the same but some very similar points.


  3. P.S. will appear tomorrow.


  4. Or are we willing to follow Christ and say God is a giver so I’ll give to others?


  5. Sally, your question certainly gives a specific focus to letting our light shine. Generosity is one thing that can demonstrate faith, as it did when the widow gave the last of her money in the temple.



  6. Nicole, our blogging about the same topic has happened more than once, and I’m here to testify, we don’t conspire to make that happen! 😉

    Looking forward to reading your post.



  7. Hey, Ken,

    So you noticed the absence of the Book of Mormon quotes, did you? 😀

    There was an even greater push in the US during our last Presidential primaries when a noted Mormon was running for the Republican nomination. He and the media seemed to be anxious to co-opt the Christian label, but the obvious political ends kept it from catching on.



  8. Becky,

    You and I don’t have exclusive rights to the word “christian”. Many people use it to mean many things. Those of us who avoid using it are not ducking anything. Just making sure that the language we use really communicates properly.

    If you were feeling happy and carefree would you describe yourself as a “gay Christian”? You might know what you meant, but other people might read it differently. You might avoid using the word but that would not mean you were unhappy.

    The media and anyone else are not co-opting the word. That’s what they think it means.


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