No. 452



My giant Funk & Wagnalls College Dictionary defines the word communication as "The transmission or exchange of ideas, information, etc., as by speech or writing." The goal of every author, columnist or speaker is to successfully communicate, or at least it should be. The tools of our trade are words, which now number over 800,000 in the English language. These words can be used in a multitude of ways, to create mental pictures, to stir emotions and to bring healing and comfort to individuals who are hurting. The great fear that we all have, even with all these wonderful tools at our beck and call, is that we will be misunderstood.

Such is the case for me as I share something that I have thought about for a very long time. In my writings I try to offer positive, upbeat ideas and topics that will be both helpful and encouraging for you, the reader. You are very important to me and I never want to take you for granted. The challenges we face each day come in many different forms. They may be financial, physical, relational, environmental, spiritual and whole hosts of others. What I have thought about for some time now is in the spiritual realm. As you know we are born with a God instinct, which is to say we will all worship something or someone.

As we grow older and mature, in America whom we worship and how we worship is a choice that is left to each individual person. After stumbling around and making a mess out of my life for several years I have chosen to become a Christian. My life now has meaning and purpose and has never been the same since I made this important decision. Since I have seen both sides of the fence, so to speak, I have an observation that I would like to pass along to you in the form of some information. Over the years I have had countless people tell me that Christians were hypocrites and I'm sure this is true in many cases. ÊÊÊÊ

On the other hand, many people who are accused of being a hypocrite and thought to be a Christian are not Christians at all. They may be church members and they may be religious but they are not Christian. It's really a case of mistaken identity. Please don't misunderstand what I am saying. This is not an attempt to evangelize or to try to get you or anyone else to believe as I believe. This is a very private matter in every person's life. Also, what I am saying is not in any way meant to be judgmental. The Bible is very specific about this. In the book of Matthew it says, "Judge not lest ye be judged for by the same way ye judge, the same measure will be meted out to you."

The reason I can make the statement about most hypocrites not being a Christian can be found in II Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new." When a person becomes a Christian, it means a change has taken place in his or her life. If they are still living the way they used to live, they many be a church member and may be religious, but they are not a Christian. As they say, "sitting in church three times a week will no more make you a Christian than sitting in a hen house will make you a chicken."

A friend sent me something the other day that says it better than I ever could. It begins, "When I say "I am a Christian"..I'm not shouting "I'm clean living!" I'm whispering, "I was lost; now I'm found and forgiven." When I say "I am a Christian"..I don't speak this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble, and need Christ to be my guide. When I say "I am a Christian"ÉI'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I am weak, and need His strength to carry on. When I say "I am a Christian"ÉI'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting that I have failed, and need God to clean my mess. When I say "I am a Christian"ÉI'm not claiming to be perfect, my flaws are far too visible; but God believes I am worth it.

When I say "I am a Christian"..I still feel the sting of pain, I have my share of heartaches, and so I call upon his name. When I say "I am a Christian"ÉI'm not holier than thou. I'm just a simple sinner, who received God's good Grace, somehow." The instructions at the end of this little treatise were these, "Share this with somebody who already has this understanding, as reinforcement. But more importantly, share this with those who do not have a clear understanding of what it means to be a Christian, so that the myth that Christians think they are "perfect" or "better than others" can be dispelled." So, in the future when you see someone who you think is a Christian and they are a crook, immoral, dishonest and meaner than a snake, it just may be a case of mistaken identity. Ê(Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)