I wake up every morning and thank the Lord for waking me. I name three things that I am grateful for and begin my day. I pray before I eat (most times). I tithe, I try not to covet, I decrease the amount that I curse. I do good work in my community, I’m always volunteering time to different causes. I have all the fixings of a good Christian.
I follow the routine. My faith at this point is comfortable. I sacrifice things that are easy to go without.
I don’t give up watching my favorite TV show to add in extra time for prayer. I don’t put down my romance novel to read extra scriptures.
I’m a great Christian as long as my faith doesn’t interfere with my personal life. Shame on me. Had I been in Emanuel AME in Charleston looking down the barrel of the gun would I be proud?
I have accomplished many things in my few years but what does all that mean if I’m not willing to suffer for Christ. In Paul’s letter to the Philippians he writes, “The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant” Phil 3:7-9 MSG. Of all the labels I hold, disciple is most precious, but if you look at my daily life, I exhaust my job title, my education, and a host of other things.
In the end, as our nine brothers and sisters in Mother Emanuel know, in the end, Christian is the only label that matters.