One of the biggest hurdles i face as a Christian is the "turn the other cheek" syndrome. I'm a man who can very easily kick your head in or shake your hand, depending on how you treat me or those i love. When you push the right buttons i react and sometimes it's not in a Christian manner (what ever that is). A lot of my life has been spent on the wrong side of the tracks, i have never run from a fight and have the scars to prove it, and a few broken bones, and all of my ribs down the left hand side of my body at some point in time. This is where i struggle, trying to put the old self to bed as Paul tells us too, even as a Christian i can be quick to anger and even quicker to kick off, for me it's a daily struggle just to maintain some form of Christian witness. Not because God is not real, i believe he is beyond reality in my life, he is central to it at every turn, but that old self the one that needs the last word, the man who wants to attack instead of think still has a grip at times. For me it is a real problem as evidenced itself today, when i got carved up and had a real explosion of emotion against the car driver who nearly took me out of circulation for what could have been a long time.
And this brings me to a point which will gain me few friends but needs to be said. When i see Christians slating each other in public, name calling, back biting and bitching it genuinely upsets me. We are called to be a witness to the world, to be different from the world, to not follow it's paths or attitudes. Now most of you will say disagreements are a part of life and yes they are, but slagging of a brother or sister in Christ is not right. Calling into question someones faith because they disagree with you is not Godly or edifying, to them, yourself or more importantly to God himself. It's little wonder at times that the world looks at the church and wonders what the heck is going on, when at times we are no different than the world we live in, no different than those people outside of Gods kingdom.
It's time for individual Christians to rise up and take on the name and mantle of Christ, to be transformed into his image, to be more Christ like and a lot less like our old selfs. This will be pilloried and people will try and justify their actions, but it's not to me that those actions need to be justified. It's to God, and thats what dawned on me today after i had balled out a driver, shouted at my wife and just threw my toys out of the pram. What did God really think of my actions, yes it was wrong what i did and no amount of justifying it to myself was going to take back those words i said in anger, those words shouted, those words that scared and cut deep with people. A lot of my time is spent praying on a daily basis, praying that my example and witness will glorify God, today i dropped the ball. Look at your actions, your words and see if you can truly say, yes God was/is in it. Because for a time today i became the old me, and that person i don't even like to be around.
Have a great Christmas one and all, may God bless you and keep you. And may we all draw near to him.