“Christian” is a lousy adjective

A Jewish lady answered a knock at her door. The young man asked her if she wanted her house painted. It needed painting, so she took his card. She noticed a fish symbol on the card and asked him what it meant. “It means I’m a Christian painter,” he said.

In my opinion, calling yourself a “Christian” anything presents two problems. First, no one has ever explained to me what a Christian is in Biblical terms. Any definition fails to capture what Jesus taught us about following Him.

And second, using “Christian” to describe a “painter” does not help me learn anything about the person holding the brush and ladder. Does a “Christian painter” paint differently from a “Catholic painter” or a “Muslim painter” or, “atheist painter”? The woman wanted her house painted. All she cared about was whether or not the guy could paint.

Too many times I think folks use “Christian” to describe their business to persuade their customers they’re more honest or ethical than “non-Christian” businesses. That somehow their “Christian business” ethics or integrity or quality of work is superior to their competitors who don’t flash a “Christian” label in their front window or on their business cards.

Too often we hear stories of bad experiences some consumers have with “Christian” businesses who flash their fish symbols then act just like the world in the market place. Those “Christian” business folks drive people away from The church and away from Jesus. One bad “Christian” business deal can destroy dozens of potential good business deals with authentic followers of Jesus who take Jesus to work every day.

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men. Colossians 3:23

Authentic followers of Jesus don’t have to flash a “Christian” label to attract more customers, or to describe one’s integrity or character. Authentic followers of Jesus don’t have to convince others of their faith. The way we love others is all we need to bear witness to our integrity and our character.

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About Steven Sawyer

God blessed me with the gift of writing. Mom told me I wrote paragraphs in second grade when others were learning to write sentences. I spent more than three decades in professional writing gigs. For the past eight years I've combined my passion for writing with my love for the Lord. He and I write a Christ-centered, family-friendly blog to glorify God Monday-thru Friday at https://stevensawyer.wordpress.com/. My wife and I have four grown children and two precious granddaughters we co-parent with their mom. I'm a Galatians 2:20 disciple of Christ seeking to allow Christ to live His life in me, through me, and as me.
This entry was posted in A CLICK A BLESSING TODAY, CHRISTIAN FOUNDATIONS OF BELIEF, CHRISTIAN LIFE AND THE WORD, Christian Life and the Word - Know the Truth - Live the Truth, I JUST PRAYED FOR YOU, I LIFT UP MY EYES, SHARING STRUGGLES, STRONGHOLD SMASHERS, WONDERFUL WORDS OF LIFE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “Christian” is a lousy adjective

  1. ptl2010 says:

    For some, the prefix ” Christian” on their calling card, could ever be a reminder to themselves ( not to the non- Christian) that but for the grace of God how wretched they would be. It was the cords of love that showed them how to love and now it is their turn to show love ( whether in response or paid service) to His highest calling.

  2. I have a friend who prefers the term “Jesus Follower.” But he doesn’t use that to get more work. And we can all tell stories of “Christians” who were lousy workers and ripped people off.

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