Practical Christianity. What does this actually mean? At its core, it simply means Christianity that can be practiced. This may seem extremely simplistic, but since there are many different Christian denominations it can certainly mean different things to different people. However, the easiest way to know what it means is to go back to the life of Jesus himself. After all, the word “Christian” is firmly and unalterably attached to him.
What does your Christianity look like? I should probably clarify what I mean. I am NOT talking about what church you attend and what you believe doctrinally, although those things are extremely important and certainly have a place in the discussion. For this discussion, however, I am interested in how you live out your Christianity. That is an extremely important question to answer.
I am always thrown off when I hear athletes or celebrities say that they have a “private faith.” That may work for other religions but it certainly does not work for Christianity. Christianity is meant to be lived out publicly for anyone and everyone to see. People should not have to question whether we are Christians or not. They should see it demonstrated in everything we do and say.
No one had to guess whether the apostles were Christians or not. The religious leaders took one look at Peter and John and could tell that they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13). When people look at us what do they see? Do they see religious people who go to church every Sunday, or do they see the love and truth of Jesus Christ shining through in everything we do? Do they see people who call themselves Christians, or do they see people who actually demonstrate Christianity? These are questions that are just begging for answers.
But let’s go back to Jesus, since he is the author and finisher of our faith, and the captain of our salvation. This whole thing began with him and is completely wrapped up in him. We get quite a portrait of him in the gospels. He was the guy inviting outcasts when no one else wanted them, and ministering to people who didn’t deserve it. He then commanded his followers to do the same. At its very core, Christianity is looking at the life of Jesus and mirroring exactly what you see.
I don’t know if you remember the “What Would Jesus Do?” movement, but I certainly do. At times it seemed a bit cheesy, but the movement was asking the right question. After all, isn’t that what all of us should be seeking after? Christianity is as simple as looking at every situation we encounter and asking that four word question. In reality, it is simple to understand, but much harder to actually do.
Over the next few weeks I will be doing a series on Practical Christianity. This will obviously not be an exhaustive study, but it will dig into the fundamentals of what it means to live a practical Christian life in the midst of an impractical world. I encourage you to read along and study it out for yourself. Examine the principles that I put forth and measure your life by them. I will certainly be doing that myself. To put it simply, I want to do what Jesus would do.