#225: The Insidious Gap Between What We Say and What We Do

Gandhi reportedly said, “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”


An agnostic coworker once said to me, “I’d be more interested in Christianity except I’ve met some Christians.”

Ouch! What’s wrong with this picture?

Is it possible Christians are not living out their faith on a daily basis? Is it possible this happens often enough that people are actually turned away from following Christ?

It certainly seems so. A recent Barna Research study found only 17% of professing Christians have a Biblical worldview.

For the purpose of this study a Biblical worldview was defined as believing:

1) there is absolute moral truth;

2) the Bible is accurate in all that it teaches;

3) Satan is real, not just symbolic;

4) good works are not sufficient for salvation;

5) Jesus Christ lived a sinless life; and

6) God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the universe.

No wonder those outside the Christian faith look inside and doubt us!

It turns out the vast majority of professing Christians either don’t know what the Bible teaches or they don’t accept the basics of the faith. Either way, it follows they won’t live out their faith according to Biblical teaching!

No wonder Gandhi said, “your Christians are unlike your Christ.”

Yet, being like Christ is exactly what we are commanded to be.

  • Paul, writing to the Ephesians said, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children” (Ephesians 5:1)
  • And writing to the Corinthians, Paul said, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)

There is no wiggle room here. As Christians, we are commanded to be imitators of Christ.

Clearly, there is a gap between what we as Christians are supposed to be like, and the way the way we live. That gap is what the world sees. It is how the world evaluates our faith life. It is why they say Christians are hypocrites.

We Are to be Salt and Light

Jesus commanded us to be salt and light to the world.

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16)

Salt is a preservative, but if it becomes impure, it loses its ability to preserve. We are to be like pure salt that preserves the Lord’s teaching. If we become impure by accepting a secular worldview our teaching is of no value to the Kingdom.

A light provides direction and enables you to walk securely without stumbling. If the light is hidden under a basket, it is of no use. A Christian who hides their faith is of no use in bringing light to others.

One kind of Christian has an impure faith, one corrupted by the world’s values, so it is useless.

The other kind of Christian has a solid understanding of their faith but they hide their faith from others, so it is useless.

Jesus’ command is that we be like pure salt and a bright light. If we are like pure salt, we will preserve the faith. If we are a light that shines before others, they will see our good works, and be drawn to the Father.

Leaders, It Must Start with Us

Leaders, it must start with us. Our pastors cannot do it all by themselves.

It was never God’s plan to spread the Gospel just through our pastors. God’s plan for spreading the Good News doesn’t just include us; it depends on us.

We are called, every one of us as children of God, to be salt and light to the world. So, let’s get out there and live our lives in such a way that others see Christ reflected in us, and because of Him living in us, others are drawn to the Father in Heaven!

Join the Conversation

As always, questions and comments are welcome. How are you living your life to be a salt and light leader?

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Category: Personal Development | Purpose/Passion


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