There’s a popular quote that says something to the effect of, “A man’s character is proven when no one’s watching…” (I’m paraphrasing dramatically of course). And while this saying is prevalent in learning and becoming a good, sound person, I can’t help but apply its meaning directly to my own Christianity. Am I a Christian all the time or only when I’m being watched and/or presenting myself to the public (Twitter, Facebook, MadtoLove.com, etc.)? Should the two even be differentiated?
If you were to take my entire life—public and private moments alike—and spread it wide for inspection, all while possessing no preconceived notions of my past or who I am as a person, if you judged my life simply on the acts I’ve committed, the language I’ve used, the things I’ve allowed my mind and heart to consume…would you be willing to say that I was a Christian? That I was indeed Christ-like more often than not? Honestly, I’m not so sure you could—and that wounds me.
Though I lay claim to the label of “Christian” and do my best to represent our Holy Father to the best of my abilities (most of the time), the truth is, I mess up; I mess up a lot. I sin. And I sin willingly. Yet, most of this is done in private, when I am alone and away from an eager audience. Does this make me less of a Christian? Does my wavering devotion to a Christ-filled life lessen my initial claim of Christianity? Thankfully, because of His mercy and forgiveness, I don’t believe it does. However, there is something to be said for a lack of consistency when our Christianity comes in to question.
If our character is proven most when we are alone, then our Christianity should also be applied to this principle. Yes, our example as a disciple of Christ is a worthwhile witness to what He’s done to and for us, but it is within those quiet hours of solitude that our heart is put to its most profound test. Do we remain a shining prophet of renewed beginnings and forthright hope, or do we retreat to devilish ways, conducting ourselves as we wish with little thought to the salvation we’ve been provided? Hopefully, we find the courage to only entertain thoughts of the former.
Alone or accompanied, hidden or found, our Christianity should remain the same—vibrant, powerful, changing. It’s our calling and constant charge; something we—myself, more than most—would do well to remember.
You can follow me on Twitter here. Thank you for reading.