How to avoid being a Two-Faced Christian
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Did the subject line get your attention? How to Avoid Being a Two-faced Christian. The word two-faced was the first sentence in our study book recently in Sunday school. Its goal to get my attention was successful. The opening paragraph was about how in our world today we are just that, two-faced. We post what we want the world to know and see about us on social media with pretty filters, but it isn’t always the whole story. We are so busy trying to please people and wanting them to like us that we don’t even realize that we’re consumed with how we’re perceived by others. Therefore, we're putting on some great charade that no one believes about us anyway.
Instead, we should be consumed with how God sees us. If we can get to the place where we are so in love with Jesus we won't have to worry about any charades, we won't have time for them. The result will be so noticeable. Not the negative kind Christians sometimes get, but the I-can't-believe-they-love-like-that attention.
Here’s a quote from our study.
“Self-image, the concept we have of ourselves, must begin not by looking in the mirror but by looking into the face of God.” – Sam Storms
Sam, you nailed it, my friend.
So, how are we to avoid being a two-faced Christian?
1. Understand what grace is.
Did you read last week's post? Where we chatted about grace and I was a little transparent? I wanted to continue those thoughts I shared about being real and about thinking we can earn salvation. The quote above talks about the concept we have of ourselves, and I'd add that we think others have of us. What we should be doing, instead of letting our focus rest there, is to look into God's face.
"There is no one righteous, not even one;" Romans 3:10
Being “good” isn’t good enough. We’re saved by faith, not works. Nothing we do can save us. Just because someone might call you “good people” won’t mean a thing in eternity. With that said, we aren’t given an out to just go on sinning with the attitude that it doesn’t matter because nothing I do saves me. No, that’s not the point.
The point is, we're saved by grace. We're justified. Forgiven. When our lives are changed it shows. It's called fruit. When you're filled...saved...sanctified...when you enter into a relationship with Jesus He fills you with His Holy Spirit and thereby you begin to grow, you begin to take root and therefore, become a fruit bearer.
2. Be honest.
I believe the true self-test of whether you're a two-faced Christian or not is how you are at home. How do you treat those closest to you? Are you a different person at church than anywhere else? Do you find yourself putting on a mask to keep from being truly seen?
"The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9
3. Realize that bearing fruit takes time.
It's a process. It doesn't happen overnight. But I do know that over time fruit begins to appear. Not only that, you start to see it in more quantity and quality. Is the church full of hypocrites? I answer this question with a question. It's full of humans isn't it? You bet it is! We're church-going-jesus-loving-sinners trying to shake the two-faced label and reflect the One face of God. We can change this perception about us by stopping the two-faced charade because first of all we aren't fooling anyone and second people long for you to be genuine, honest and real with them. I believe if we own up to the fact that we are sinners saved by grace and just simply love others we can begin to change the way people see us.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. ... John 15:1-27
4. Stop worrying about other Christians
I also believe we can get so caught up in waiting to see other Christians mess up that we don't take a good long look at ourselves. There's not one person in the universe whose salvation is your responsibility. There's not one person whose relationship with Christ is your responsibility. You have one person to worry about...it's the one that stares back at you everyday in the mirror. Why is it that Christians and non-Christians alike are waiting to pounce and get their megaphones out to tell the world just how human we are? Why are we waiting ever so patiently for a chance to annouce something that everyone already knows? Do you know what I tell a child when they want to tattle tail on another? Don't worry about what they're doing all you have to do is take care of what you're doing and answer for yourself. If you're so worried about that other person...non-Christian or Christian...let me share with you the formula I use for getting those worries under control. Wait for it. It's a big deal. It's the very best thing you can do to invest in that two-faced Christian and actually help them. Here it is friend...pray. If we spent more time praying for one another instead of pointing out everything that's wrong with each other we wouldn't even be discussing two-faced Christians.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people. 1 Timothy 2:1
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