If it Looks Like a Duck and Walks Like a Duck

bu_043013_bThis survey by the Barna Group is worth a glance if it causes us to reflect on who others see in us; Jesus or Pharisee?

By the time I had made it through the article I was questioning some of my own attitudes and actions. As much as I didn’t want to admit it, it appears there may be a little  more Pharisee residing in this heart of mine than Kingdom living allows. Here’s a sampling, and the entire article with some neat charts can be found here.

Actions like Jesus:

  • I listen to others to learn their story before telling them about my faith.
  • In recent years, I have influenced multiple people to consider following Christ.
  • I regularly choose to have meals with people with very different faith or morals from me.
  • I try to discover the needs of non-Christians rather than waiting for them to come to me.
  • I am personally spending time with non-believers to help them follow Jesus.

Self-Righteous Attitudes:

  • I find it hard to be friends with people who seem to constantly do the wrong things.
  • It’s not my responsibility to help people who won’t help themselves.
  • I feel grateful to be a Christian when I see other people’s failures and flaws.
  • I believe we should stand against those who are opposed to Christian values.
  • People who follow God’s rules are better than those who do not.

Picking apart the second bulleted statement from the self-righteous attitudes list, isn’t it the Christian’s responsibility to always be helping people who can’t help themselves? Isn’t this the message at the heart of the gospel?

While I was still faithfully serving my sin master, God sent His Son to help me, because I had no intention of helping myself (Romans 5:8).

So if you found the time to visit Barna and read their article, what did you think? Can you find a biblical basis for each of their bulleted lists? If so, who do you see in the mirror?

About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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14 Responses to If it Looks Like a Duck and Walks Like a Duck

  1. Another “ouch!” Very challenging, as are most of Barna’s surveys.
    As I look back, I can be very thankful that I am more like Christ now than I was – that He is continuing His work of changing me and moulding me – but on the other hand, I must admit He still has a long way to go.

  2. Pingback: If it Looks Like a Duck and Walks Like a Duck | Write Lexi

  3. wr1ghtlexi says:

    Wow I read this whole article then clicked on the research Barna did and all I could think of while reading the statistics of Pharisee-like was that I know a couple of ministers who display SOME of the Pharisee qualities but mainly Christian. I didn’t realize it was Pharisee-like to have a negative attitude about gays and lesbians but I guess that sounds right since Christ’s response is to love everyone and not just the people who “fit the mold.” This was extremely interesting and a bit educational! Thank you!

    • mtsweat says:

      Thanks for the words of enthusiasm and the link friend. Yes, Barna’s article reveals some challenging thoughts. I think as Jesus’ disciples we must understand the gospel is good news for sinners, We are called to share the gospel with everyone, not just those whose lifestyles we agree with. It will be difficult to do so if we’ve built walls between ourselves and some of these. Jesus entertained, loved sinners, even died for them. But then it’s really not them, it is us, and more personally, it is I. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. It takes exactly the same amount of grace to save a heterosexual sinner as a homosexual sinner.

      So we must show the love and compassion of Christ to all, quite simply because it is that very same love that compels us, as it was His love that rescued us. Thanks and many blessings to you this day!

      • wr1ghtlexi says:

        Exactly! Jesus never said “love those who act like me.” He said to love everyone regardless of who they are (rough translation). I don’t judge others, I show them love and compassion no matter who they are or what they have done. I hope I said that right. I wish I could have actually reblogged you but that was not an option so I figured a link to your blog post would be a good second choice. Everyone should read it and be educated on what it means to be a true Christian and not just a Pharisee and to know when they are acting more like a Pharisee then like Christ (for believers) and non-believers should also know because it could be bad experiences with “Christians” with Pharisee-like tendencies in attitude and/or action that turned them off to believing in God but if they knew how loving Christ and God are then they might yet put their hope in him. Thanks for the blessings and may God bless you too!

    • mtsweat says:

      Your thoughts are very Christ-honoring. It’s when we start asking questions that lead us to conclusions as you have come to that we can begin to understand Paul when he said, “I become all things to all people… that I might save some.” Never do we have to agree with a lifestyle to love the person trapped in a lifestyle. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ that is the power of God unto salvation, not my arguments of why some lifestyles are wrong. Great thoughts you have!

  4. hodgepodge4thesoul says:

    Ouch! Very interesting read-thank you for posting

  5. Reblogged this on In Love With The Lord Poetry and Prose and commented:
    Wow. eye opening!

  6. ptl2010 says:

    This evening,I discussed ” Be real ” at our weekly Bible study with my maid. The non- believers need to see us live authentic lives. They want to see us as we are – like Christ or like the world. Do we have weaknesses, do not hide – confess and tell how The Lord has helped us overcome them in His strength. Others who have similar weaknesses and are looking for deliverance want to know there is a way out in Jesus . If we have been changed we will reflect Jesus and can be real about being like Jesus, being authentic.

    Thanks for a provocative sharing M.T.

    • mtsweat says:

      Thanks for bringing the thoughts of the post together with your statement, “If we have been changed we will reflect Jesus and can be real about being like Jesus, being authentic.” Amen!

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