Someone said this to me yesterday. To be honest, I was a bit shocked. I wasn’t sure how to respond, and in my heart my first thought was, “That’s really harsh.” I felt like if someone wanted to attack me where it really hurt, that’s something they would say. I felt defensive, and even like that was a below-the-belt comment.
However, upon further reflection, I don’t believe that comment was unmerited. Perhaps it was said in jest as I would consider us to be friends, but even such an offhand comment comes from a deeper place, so at the very least I should conclude that I must have inadvertently hurt them.
The background is that I joked that a male celebrity/public figure looked “…different” in a recent photo. As in, he clearly had put on some weight, and as a result was accused of fat-shaming. Initially my thoughts were that, could I not even make such an observation without being shamed for the comment? The last time I saw a photo of him, he looked significantly slimmer.
However, my joke clearly did not come from a place of love, and even if I wished to argue that I was worried for his health, that isn’t really the thought that I had. To be fair, a major part of me was just thinking that he must have been eating really well, so good for him. Heck, I was even a little envious that he had the means to just jet off to any country and eat the best of foods at any given time.
But I can see how the circumstances under which I said it, coupled with the arguably judgemental tone I said it in, were all inappropriate and should have been kept to myself. In fact, I shouldn’t have thought like that in the first place. Shortly after, I apologised in a way that I hope came across sincerely. But today I am taking the time today to reflect on myself, my words and actions.
“That’s not very Christian of you” – this stung and cut me deeply. However, she’s not wrong.
Christian means to be “like Christ”. Have I been acting very Christian lately? Have I been thinking very Christian lately? I know that God will use whomever He pleases to convict me, why shouldn’t this be an act of His, working along with the Spirit to remind me of who I am/ought to be? I have sinned. It is appropriate for me to ask God, too, for forgiveness.
I have been toiling unto God’s Kingdom, but have I been reflecting Christ in my words and actions? How’s my relationship with Christ these days? How much devotional time have I had? Yes, I have done Bible reading. Yes, I have prayed. Yes, I have had plenty of Bible study. But if I consider how much quiet time I have had, it’s not nearly enough.
So let me make that a priority again, so that my heart can be in the right place. I thank God for His unconditional grace, endless mercy and forgiveness through Jesus. I thank God that He doesn’t count my sins against me, but, in love, sanctifies me to grow.
Because of Jesus, I am a sinner saved by grace. Because of Jesus, my unrighteousness is accounted to him, and his righteousness is counted to me. Because of Jesus, I am unashamed. But unashamed does not and should not mean unapologetic.
“That’s not very Christian of you” is a wake-up call. Wake up, Christian, and start being Christ-ian.