On a recent Sunday morning I asked if anyone knew which movie this quote was from: “It’s not who we are underneath, it’s what we do that defines us.” Got it yet?
It’s from one of my favorite films, ‘Batman Begins’, and it’s a pretty challenging quote. You can say all you want that you’re a good loyal friend on the inside, but if you gossip incessantly, that will define you.
You can claim to be a smart steward of money and finances, but if you’re living in unmanageable debt, that will define you. And if you consider yourself a Christian, it is perhaps even more difficult to avoid this challenge.
After all, as followers of Jesus it’s easy to get caught in a trap where our words, our beliefs, and our actions don’t always line up. And this is probably what gives Christians a bad name in the eye of the general public more than anything.
From a strict, “I’m a follower of Jesus” perspective, it’s important to remember that it’s not what we do that ‘makes’ Him love us. That’s one of the great gifts of the Christian faith, our relationship with Jesus isn’t dependent on our works or our actions, our relationship is dependent on what He has already done for us.
Having said that, we are called as Jesus-followers to love others in our words and actions. And that’s where I wonder if we rely a little too much on what lies underneath, rather than letting what we do define us.
How many Christians do you know that claim to love Jesus on the inside, but don’t show that love to others with their actions? How many people do you know where you have no idea what their faith might be, or if they even have one, because what they do defines them in no particular way whatsoever?
These are challenges indeed, and ones that we’ll never live up to perfectly. But, for me at least, it was a good reminder. I can claim to be all kinds of different things. I can claim to be a good chef, a good friend, and an above-average dancer. But if I claim to be a Christian, do my actions match that definition? Do yours?
Don’t go to church, Be the Church.