Our pastor recently preached about not living to please others, giving examples of ways that Christians compromise our actions to fit in with the culture around us. As he spoke, I realized that, while I do struggle with trying to please others, I’m more likely to worry about fitting in with other Christians than fitting into the world around me. I fail to be a super Christian because I worry about what the SuperChristians will think.
You may know what I mean by a “SuperChristian” – not necessarily someone who is a better Christian or lives a holier life than I do, but someone who appears to hold him- or herself to a higher standard of living. It’s the person who, from real or false conviction, doesn’t drink, dance, wear skirts above the knee, or (fill in the blank); the person who never misses a church service for any reason; the person who might not actually be judging my actions but who I always fear will be.
When I talk about trying to fit in with SuperChristians, I don’t mean avoiding things that are specifically called sins in the Bible, but rather following individual convictions that are not my own. I worry about what other Christians will think of me if they know I drank a daiquiri last night or that one of my favorite shows focuses on someone who lies about being a psychic.
Living to please SuperChristians is just as bad as living to please non-Christians. Either way, I am failing to live for God. Rather than striving to be a super Christian – to know God better and to follow Christ’s example more closely – I am deceiving others by trying to appear to be a SuperChristian. If I succeed in that deception, I am also perpetuating a false “higher” standard of living, thereby intimidating others in such a way that hinders genuine fellowship.
I don’t want to be a SuperChristian, just a super Christian. I want to know God well enough to know what He wants me to do and to do that thing faithfully.