If you look at one big difference between those who claim to be Christians and those who don’t, it’s consistency. I’m not saying there aren’t more, but this is definitely one big one. Most people who don’t claim to be Christians, don’t go to church, don’t spend time reading their Bible, and spend little if any time thinking about God are pretty consistent. They consistently act like people who don’t claim to be Christians, don’t go to church, etc. So many times people in the church rail against people outside the church and say “they act like ____”. It’s to be expected, they’re consistently acting in their own best interests. Most people don’t hide it and often society applauds and appraises it. The fruit they produce is consistent. Often it’s the result of pride.
On the other hand, you have the Christian. They claim to not be prideful and sometimes aren’t, but then something goes wrong. Maybe they feel slighted, ignored, infringed upon, disrespected, not validated, talked down to, left out of the “group” and they become… inconsistent. Pride wells up from inside and the “inner self” yells out, “WHAT ABOUT ME?!” The same person that can list the fruits of a life with Christ versus the fruits of a life in sin, usually has a blind eye to their own fruit. If they see it, often they say things like “Well, God’s still working on me” or “Who’s perfect?” or “He knows I’m trying my best.” They excuse it and act like it’s just life. But, they’ll condemn pride and it’s fruit in group settings and even point it out in others, Christians and non-Christians alike.
Truthfully, your nature provides the fruit of, well, your nature. If you have a prideful nature, it will play itself out. If you don’t, it won’t. Now the latter is miraculous; the result of the working of the Holy Spirit in sanctifying you in the righteousness of Christ, who became sin so that you and I could live in His righteousness and holiness. But it all comes down to nature. You can staple grapes to an apple tree and say, “Grapes are better” and “Look, there are grapes,” but give it some time and those darn apples poke their heads out.
So, Christian, the next time you say you can’t believe someone hasn’t spoken to you (or a myriad of other offenses to you), ask yourself where that thought is rooted. Also, have you spoken to them? If it doesn’t matter, like I’m sure you’re saying, then why bring it up? Why does it bug you? Is it “the principle of the matter”? Who’s principle are you sighting? In light of the Almighty Glorious Everlasting Holy God looking upon you with all the attention, love, and grace that are the fruit of His nature, why do you need more than that; something that you keep reassuring everyone else “doesn’t really matter”?
If it matters, even in the slightest, or even “not really”, it’s because there’s that part of you that is still in love with yourself. The sooner you realize this in these moments, if you have them, is the sooner you can repent and ask for forgiveness from God. Let Christ live through you, moving you closer to Him, allowing Him and His nature to shine through you; consistently.
Proverbs 8:13 – The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate.