What 'Consumer Christians' Get Wrong About Christianity
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Christianity

God Transforms Us To Transform Others

This is where "consumer Christianity" gets following Jesus wrong.

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God Transforms Us To Transform Others

Often times, Christians can get into a "consumer-Christian" mindset: we have our quiet times with Jesus in the morning, doing our devotionals. When we go to church, we feel as if God is speaking directly to us.

This observation is nothing new. The "consumer-Christian" mindset is consistently called out or even parodied in one form or another among many Christian circles.

But when we do try to call out this consumer-form of Christianity, I find that Christians take a very charged, if not antagonistic approach, putting down anyone who may possibly, in some way, potentially, show a slight sign of operating as a "consumer Christian."

I think a more grace-filled approach could communicate the point better: mainly because I like to believe that's what many people are in need of, but nobody seems to be giving. Grace.

The Gospel, according to John, is a book from the New Testament of the Bible. It is one of the four biographical narratives we have that details the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. In the book of John, there is a passage where Jesus is attending a Jewish festival, along with those who followed him (his disciples) and some who questioned and even sought to persecute him.

"On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, 'Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.'" — (John 7:37-38, NIV).

This proceeded to confuse the people Jesus was talking with, essentially dividing the crowd into two camps: those that believed He was God's chosen King and Leader for His people, and those who did not.

For those of us who do believe that Jesus is Lord, that believe He is God become human and desires to guide and lead us into living the life he lived, then I think there is a subtext within the words of Jesus that many of us should dial in on:

On the one hand, Jesus desires to quench us of our thirst (and I believe this to be both spiritual and literal. He desires to sustain us in all parts of our lives). But on the other hand, I think Jesus is saying an additional profound truth about what it means for us to be believers in Him: we quench the thirst of others.

Jesus satisfies our thirst, that's true. But Jesus is also right in pointing to the Old Testament Scriptures, to prove that we are to minister and bring life to each other.

In the Old Testament, there is a prophet named Ezekiel, who has this incredible vision about a temple. Now, a temple was where God's people went to meet with Him and experience His presence. But, Ezekiel has this vision, which shows a river bursting out from the temple, and into the land before it, bringing forth life and sustenance to everything surrounding it. (Eze. 47, NIV).

On the surface, that sounds great. We might think "okay, that's cool. God's presence brings forth life, therefore temples, where God's presence is, will now flow with this presence too."

But don't think of a church building as a modern day temple. Rather, think of yourself as the modern day temple.

Jesus makes it very clear that those rivers of water flow from within you, and that God's life-giving presence will flow from you to satisfy and heal and restore others. That's it. That's what we should take away. It's simple, it's not an "okay what do we practically do now." No, we have a step-by-step checklist to walk away with titled "how to share God's life-giving, healing presence with others."

Sometimes, we just need a paradigm shift, where we realize that the end result for our belief in God isn't to transform ourselves: it's that our transformed selves allow God to transform others.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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