It was Labor Day in beautiful Oklahoma, where I was not required to labor in the accounting world, nor was I required to do much of anything.
After sleeping in and enjoying a few pages of a book, it was about time to think about lunch. Off to Chick-fil-A we went, my mom and Grandma with myself.
Due to the holiday, our nearest and most frequented Chick-fil-A location was open from 10:30am-4pm. It was at this time almost 11am.
My order alone was for an original Chick-fil-A sandwich, just the entree, with pepper Jack cheese (it’s amazing) and a frosted coffee with chocolate added in (not healthy…).
We sat down at a table, one of the usuals by the row of windows that faces the front of the building. Pretty pointless description, as this has no bearing on labels.
Upon delivery of our food, one of the employees whom we converse with on almost every visit was describing her most recent revelation of the difference between a garage sale and a yard sale that she learned over the weekend.
I grabbed one of the bags and grabbed my sandwich that was labeled to have pepper Jack cheese. Opening the pouch up, I found that the sandwich in fact had… COLBY Jack cheese instead.
Minimally shook, I let the employee know right away. It helped that she was still relaying her new found information. Once learning of my mislabeled sandwich, she was flabbergasted and promised to correct without delay.
Nothing against Colby Jack cheese because I actually like that cheese, but I’m partial to pepper Jack on my Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich. 🙂
So you see, the thing with labels is that sometimes they’re wrong. Most notably in this post, “jacked.”
The same can be said for a multitude of things. For today, we’ll focus on the Christian.
A Christian can be labeled as such, most generally self-labeled. Sometimes this is by association, background, or a false sense of security in the christian faith. They may think, why wouldn’t I be a Christian? I’m a good person. Who is anyone to judge my christian status anyhow?
It’s true that no one can know the heart of a Christian, only God, but the fruits – words and actions – are a display of what lies in the heart. For my thinking – why display something contrary to one’s heart or true feeling? Why display something that contradicts what one claims to wholeheartedly believe? Even in the secular world, does this make sense?
If you open up their life, the fruits perhaps, of the metaphorical sandwich pouch… Will you find them to be Christians? Are they correctly labeled? Or are they labeled as christian only to have their names not in God’s book at all?
I’m not a perfect Christian. I’m not trying to be a perfect Christian. My only hope is that someday I’ll look back to see growth, rather than a downward trend. and that I’ll be a better person, a better disciplined Christian today than I was yesterday, with the allowance of stumbles along the way (because we (I) must learn to give ourselves some grace as well).
The root of the problem is pride. But what’s the problem? An incorrectly labeled sandwich…I mean… Christian.
…having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.2 Timothy 3:5
Oh, no. I’m getting hungry again for Chick-fil-A. I’m glad they’re a Christian organization, it helps keep this whole thing mighty consistent, don’t you think?
Don’t we feel a little inkling of pride when we call ourselves a Christian? As if we ourselves did much of anything to become Christians. The work of God, of Christ, was not our doing – for we were the cause of that price to be paid. Sinners, is our first name, or middle name, whatever you choose I guess.
I’d say I have, but I’m not proud of… pride.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.Romans 3:23
A statement, not an excuse.
The only thing that makes us “better” is that we’re able to call ourselves children of God, adopted into a family of other believers. In reality, we’re no better living among unbelievers if we are living the same life they lead. We’re called to live upright lives, spreading the Good News and forsaking our lives for the Gospel.
In the first chapter of Titus, Paul writes about the descriptions of what an elder in the church should have/be immediately followed by the contrast of false teachers. Verse 16 boils it down for us.
They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.Titus 1:16
I’m convicted of labels. I’m convicted of being a lax-Christian. I’ve seen better days and I’d like the better days to be ahead – not behind me.
Be wary of labels, friends.
This scripture below has stayed with me since reading it last year during Bible Study Fellowship in our study of Matthew, not for the first time, but merely in a new (and older, more experienced) frame of mind. It’s convicting.
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and so many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’Matthew 7:21-23
Jesus provides hope for all sinners and all labels in the world. May our focus in times of victory and trial be on Him, and not ourselves.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Matthew 11:28