(You don’t have to admit it out loud, but...) Have you ever been inside a bar when you were underage? Did you feel like everyone was looking at you, convinced they all knew you had no business being in there? Or you’ve taken a friend’s child to an activity and signed the parent permission slip, knowing your friend would approve, but afraid someone in charge is going to know you’re not who you say you are? Or sat in on a group meeting or some kind of class with a friend, because you were there, even though you weren’t registered?
We all have times – even fairly legitimate times – in which we pretend to be someone or something we’re not. But is it possible that sometimes we’re the ones who are deceived? If we’re not careful, Christianity can become more about membership in “the club” than it is a way of life. We know the language – we mastered the secret handshake, talk like insiders, know how to look the part, carry our Bibles and tell people about our Bible studies and prayer groups. We go to church and know when to raise our hands, when to bow our knees. But is it all a sham? Is it just surface Christianity? Are we in a really great fraternity – belonging to a group of people we like, surviving initiation, attending the meetings – or are we in it because of God? Have we been changed on the inside, or are we just wearing a uniform? Can people tell we’re followers of Christ, shining our light, directing others to the One we are here to serve? Or do we have to talk about our pious acts to convince people we are Christians? We shouldn’t need external accessories like cross pendants and tote bags covered with Scriptures to declare to others who we are. Those things aren’t bad – not at all. What’s bad is when nobody would know we were Christians if we didn’t have those things. Our faith isn’t about being in the “in crowd.” Instead, it should define who we are and how we live. Our identities should radiate from within, from a quiet assurance that we are who HE says we are. It doesn’t matter who the rest of the world thinks we are. It matters what He thinks. We have to remember that we are King’s kids. Heirs, sons of God, the Beloved. We are His. No questions asked. Simply because He said so.