by David Stoecker
What does being a “Go” Christian truly mean? Is it knowing the Bible? attending church or small groups? tithing? wearing a suit/dress to church? sitting in the front row and singing the loudest with your hands raised in worship? I would call these ingredients we can use in our life, but not the recipe for being a “Go” Christian.
To be a “Go” Christian, first we have to say “No!” We have a cross to bear, and that cross is to say no to ourselves. We must deny ourselves immoral, worldly things. We have a sinful nature, yet we must be willing to deny our basic instincts. We must die to sin—even the thought of sinning—as the early Christians did.
Some may think I am talking about not being able to have fun. If this is how you feel, you do not understand what I am saying, nor do you truly understand the sacrifice Christ made on the cross. A life without sin gives us joy. Honestly, we are giving up very little for so much. Christ did not “try His best” to die on the cross; He accomplished it. Why should we be satisfied with not giving our best?
We must also be willing to talk about Christ and our beliefs even when it is not popular. We need to take a stand for our faith and for what we believe everywhere we go: home, school, work, events, restaurants, vacation, and our neighborhoods.
When we take up our cross, we become dead to the world. Before I was a Christian and began a relationship with God, I was a sinner. I lived to fulfill my will, to make myself happy. I smoked cigarettes, drank to inebriation almost every day, fought all the time, had premarital sex, lied, cursed, and listened to music and watched movies that would make a sailor blush. I lived for me! It was all about worldly achievement and self-fulfillment. I was an example of how not to live your life.
However, since the day I gave my life to Christ, I have not smoked a cigarette, gotten drunk, had sex outside of marriage, or gotten into a fight outside of a ring. I now listen only to worship music because it puts me in a great mood. I pray in between sets at the gym on a consistent basis, and I wear worship shirts almost exclusively. I read the Bible daily and pray all the time. I am by no means perfect, but I make an effort every day to not succumb to my sinful nature. It is a start, and I can build on that.
Being a “Go” Christian means I will never do or say anything that I will have to tell my son not to repeat. It means I realize I represent God, my church, my wife and son, my employer, my deceased father, my pastor, and Celebrate Recovery everywhere I go. I will not get caught up in gossip; I will not curse; I will not yell or lie. Instead, I will talk to others about the changes the Holy Spirit has made in my life. To the best of my ability, I will live to show I love Christ.
I do not intend to boast here. Rather, I am simply saying I could not live this way without the Holy Spirit in me and the sacrifice Christ made. The cross symbolizes pain and suffering, yet we think Christ wants us to live in comfort and ease. Our lives should be living sacrifices to Christ, and that is not always easy. With that said, however, since the night I turned my life over to Christ and gave Him control, it has gotten a lot easier.
Are you a “Go” Christian? To determine that, ask yourself these questions:
1. Is my life about self-fulfillment or Christ fulfillment?
2. Do I live as one who is in this world or as one who is out of this world?
3. Am I ashamed of my faith, or do I profess the gospel to all who would hear it?
4. Is my life a living sacrifice to Jesus?
If you answered yes to these questions, congratulations! You are a “Go” Christian, so keep it up. If you did not answer yes, I would recommend a lot of praying, reading the Bible, and spending time with those who are where you want to be. God bless you in your journey!
David Stoecker is Substance Abuse Counselor with Alternative Opportunities, Inc. You may reach David at firstname.lastname@example.org