A better way of living
Someone once asked me how do I know that being a Christian is a better way of living. They began to recite abuses and stories of hypocrisy to explain that it’s not better to be a Christian or kingdom citizen. I listened to their questions and hypothesis and when they were all done I told them they just made my point for me. The fact that there are people who espouse something and live something else does not nullify what they espouse. It simply shows that they have failed to value what they believe – either because it has not produced for them what they thought it should produce – or because they have failed to live according to the principles they say are important to them.
I really don’t have an answer for every question about my faith, and there are many things I cannot explain, but there is one thing I am sure of – I know where I was, and I know where I am today. I know that I have found a better way of living and because of that I am content with what I believe. Results matter – and the words of Jesus, the principles of the Bible and the lifestyle of a Christian have brought me the greatest results. Also, it is not just me, but thousands of people I have come into contact with or impacted through my story and my journey. If you look at what Jesus said, it becomes very difficult to discount the value of what is called the Christian faith.
If his name were not Jesus and he was a modern-day philosopher, many would hail him as a revolutionary hero who inspires and brings hope to the world. Let’s look at some of the words of Jesus:
• Love your neighbor as yourself.
• Do good, even to those who dislike you.
• Feed the poor, clothe the naked.
• It is better to give than to receive.
• Do not render evil for evil.
• Judge not so you are not judged.
The list can go on forever. The wisest, most awesome messages on earth have been uttered through this “man”. I am not talking about a picture of a white man with a beard – because the mistake we often make is by trying to photograph God. No one knows what he looked like on earth and there is no photo album, so the images can actually distract from the message. Even if we did have the right image, the image is of little importance because it was his words and his message that produced, and is still producing eternal change.
So, is this a better way of living?
I cannot speak for others, but speaking for myself, it has made me infinitely better than I was and allowed me to be an inspiration to others who have been impacted by my life and have followed the same path.
How better is it?
I was changed from a thug to a teacher; a philanderer to a faithful husband and father; a dishonest untrustworthy person to someone that many look up to all over the world. Could I have done it with another philosophy? I cannot, and I refuse to answer that question, because the answer to that question is hypothetical and I cannot honestly give an answer because I found what I found, and it has produced in me the best life I have ever had. Why should I try to answer that when I already know what I know, and have experienced dramatic transformation?
I have proven in my own life the value of this faith. Also, I have encountered thousands around the world with the same experience. I have also encountered people who carry the name but do not live the lifestyle. I count them as people who are not faithful to the cause and thus not qualified to be examples of the veracity of the product. If someone worked for a corporation and they disobeyed all of the corporate practices, does that mean that the corporation is no good? In order to judge the goodness of a company you would need to find people who adhere to the core philosophy of the company and not someone who is a misrepresentative of the company.
If someone abuses a child or cheats on their spouse or commits fraud and they carry a label of Christian, is that a true representation of the core values of Christianity or is it a misrepresentation? Of course, it is a misrepresentation and we cannot judge something by those who misrepresent it.
I can honestly say this “way of living” is better and when lived according to the principles espoused by Jesus, it inevitably produces a better life and better world.
• Pastor Dave Burrows is senior pastor at Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Feel free to email comments, whether you agree or disagree, to firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate your input and dialogue. We become better when we discuss, examine and exchange.