I'm no saint and I've certainly "lost my witness" more than a few times in my life. I've missed many opportunities to "be Jesus" to people who needed to see Him in me, I won't deny.
I don't claim to be perfect and I'm definitely not holier-than-thou.
But what does it mean to be a Christian?
I know some Christians who will bend over backwards to attend an outreach or make a donation, but when you say "Hello" to them, they look the other way or simply turn around.
They profess a philosophy of "servant" to anyone who is listening, but they are anything but to people in their own church.
They give their time and money, but when it comes to being friendly -- or, for that matter, just cordial -- to someone they feel is beneath them, their attitude does a 180*.
This is certainly not the example Jesus set for His disciples!
Several years ago, when my oldest daughter was going through Confirmation at another church, the students were all given shirts that read, "Claim the Name." After observing a few of the students' behavior, on several occasions, I wondered if they even knew what the phrase meant.
How can one "claim the Name" of Jesus while acting like a pompous, uptight jerk?
Are we mocking God when we choose to condescend to those we have deemed beneath ourselves?
How can we profess the love of Jesus while acting like we are above the very people we are serving beside?
Seriously, where do we get off?
Not that this behavior is ok for anyone.
Really, who does anyone think they are?
Arrogance and pride are ugly traits no matter who you are. But for Christians, they are downright destructive.
We need to remember this: If not for God's grace, mercy, and the fate of being born who, where and when we are, we might be in the place of those we cast judgment upon...
So much of what we believe makes us "superior" was GIVEN to us, freely. We didn't "earn" it or "deserve" it. It was just given.
So, how can we -- especially we, who claim the Name -- treat anyone as anything less than another precious soul, a friend, a brother or sister in Christ?
If we are going to call ourselves "Christian," then we had better understand just what that really means.