by Dr. Anthony Pranno
If I asked you whether or not you consider yourself a “Christian,” what would you say? I bet most of the people reading this blog would say “yes.” In fact, even if you don’t regularly go to church or attend a Bible study, chances are pretty good that you still think you’re a Christian. A recent Gallup Poll indicated that over 90% of Americans identify themselves as Christians.
Interestingly, in the same Gallup poll, people were asked to identify if they are “disciples or followers of Jesus Christ.” Amazingly the percentage dropped to 33%. Why is that? Here are a few thoughts…
- “Christian” is a very general term of identification. To many, it’s like being an American or a member of a church.
- Following Jesus or being his disciple sounds like it involves more commitment and sacrifice than most Christians want to give.
- Following Jesus or being his disciple implies work, learning, training, and submission… it’s definitely not what people would call the easy road.
- Calling yourself a “follower of Jesus” or a “disciple of Christ” can sound extremist or even fanatical.
As believers, followers and disciples of Jesus Christ, the Bible says we are different, unique and extraordinary because God made us that way (Isaiah 43:4).
Each of us has different spiritual gifts, talents, and skill sets that have been graciously bestowed upon us by God (1 Corinthians 12).
Each of us has a personality that is uniquely us! God says that He knows the number of hairs on our head (Luke 12:7), that He knit us together while we were still in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13), that before we lived a day of our lives or spoke a single word, he knew it completely (Psalm 139:3-4).
No matter how much this world, or the devil or even our own self-esteem tries to convince us that we’re nothing special, God says that’s not true. You’re not ordinary. God makes it clear in His Word that every person who believes and follows him has been called to something extraordinary.
So… don’t be an ordinary Christian. We were never called or meant to be Christians by namesake alone. We were meant to respond to Jesus’ love and grace and follow him the rest of our days. Are you willing not only to call yourself a “Christian,” but a “disciple of Christ” who follows Jesus wherever he leads?