Help Us Not Suck
Part seven in a series on using the Lord's Prayer as a roadmap to mission.
Why are we, Christians, upset when people want to hold us to a higher standard than others? When this happens I see the response from other Christians,
“We are sinners too, you know!” “We aren't perfect, that's why we need Jesus.” “We are broken.” “We are just like anyone else.“
Here's the thing, we claim to follow Jesus if we bear the name “Christian.” If that's the case then we are to appear to be his followers. The word in the Bible for this is “disciple.” This word means, “learner.” We are to be learning from Jesus.
In the first century, disciples would seek to be exactly like their teacher (the word they would have used is “Rabbi”). They would take on his mannerisms, language, everything they could. They would walk so close to him as to get his dust on them. They wanted to be just like their teacher. Paul calls this “having the mind of Christ.”
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16
This is such an important statement from Jesus. What he's saying is that our lives, our actions, what we do, points people to God. The way you live your life matters. It matters how you act, what you say, because the world is watching you.
Christians are held to a higher standard, we are held to that standard not by the world but by Jesus.
Jesus tells us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.” He is telling us we need to pray and ask for help in avoiding sin. We need help to live the kind of life that points people to God.
This is not some sort of weird moralism. No, this is more than that. We must be diligent and mindful in paying attention to our lives. When we stop paying attention we slide into stress and unhealthy modes of living. When we pray this prayer we are setting our minds on the necessity to be aware of our lives and how we are living. There is an intentional mindfulness.
If we are going to be on mission with Jesus we must live the Jesus life. We must live lives that look like his. We must pursue a unity with the mind of Christ. Our lives by necessity need to be marked by self-sacrifice, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Being on mission with Jesus is to live this life in the public sphere. This means that we will be judged by how well we live it out. This is our reality.
Thanks for following along on this journey through the Lord's Prayer and how it relates to missional living. Here are the links to the whole series. I hope you found it helpful. I know it has been eye-opening for me to think through these things and to process them over the last few weeks.