Brian W. Carter (File photo)

You get up, get dressed, and sit in the pew and say, “Amen,” “Praise the Lord,” “Hallelujah” and all the other appropriate responses Christians give during the worship service. You go to Sunday School or Sabbath school; you stay for the main service or go to all of them because you love church so much.

Church members can count on you to help out at the church picnic, feeding the homeless and passing out literature. You are respected and maybe even revered for your unwavering faith, giving tithes, helping out — you are just an amazing child of God.

It pays to look like a Christian!

Christians are hated and respected equally at times because many recognize the power in Jesus Christ. They may deny the power and the glory personally, but they know the story and are aware, on some level, what a Christian walk requires.

When you make it known that you are a Christian, many automatically hold you to a standard — in fact, they are waiting to point a finger at any uncharacteristic behavior. All that being said, looking like a Christian has many benefits — people elevate you to a higher echelon.

In church, this is where looking like a Christian really pays off, where your status really benefits you. You sit in the “good” seats, you know, where the well-known church members sit along with the celebs that are part-time members, the good singers, the first lady, her family and the church members with the high-profile jobs, you know—up in front. You are just such a person of God that everybody loves you.

Even among your family, you are the closet thing to God really for your family. You are always quoting scripture during the tough times, always have a prophetic word and always leading a prayer circle. You are the prayer warrior that is always on the phone talking about the goodness of Jesus to your friends, co-workers, family, acquaintances, etc.

Nobody is confused about who you believe in — “that is a Christian right there!” Everything about you says holy and sanctified. No one really has anything negative to say about you, except your enemies but they don’t count. You really look like what a Christian should be all about.

It’s quite scary how deceiving it all can be, especially when you consider what scriptures say: “They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.” Titus 1:16

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 6:1

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 3: 5-7

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” Matthew 7:21-23

It’s scary and I often ask, ‘is this me?’ There will be people who will miss out on eternity with our Abba, who believed they were in His will, doing His will and serving Him — and be denied entry.

Saints, we must be wary of where our hearts lie, we’ve been told not to trust it (Jeremiah 17:9). We have to check in with the Lord in prayer and reading His Word.

It’s not enough to look like a Christian, but actually be one. It’s something we have to commit to everyday and it’s a struggle sometimes but worth it.

God is with us though. He said that He will finish what He started in us. I just want to be a willing participant in that process, not just an observer. He knows these very weak frames we operate in, but we can do all things through Jesus. Let’s try to be His genuine children because the world needs the light.

Pray for me and I will be praying for you.

God Bless.