A few years ago I purchased an electronic device that I thought was comparable to the electronic standard held by another brand. It was cheaper and I admit that this was my original motivation in purchasing the device. I thought I had made a good deal by going cheaper…but I was sorely wrong. It looked quite similar to the more expensive quite famous counterpart…but upon studying the “specs” which were the inner workings or the hardware, I discovered that though it looked the part it was just a cheap “knock-off” that barely performed the way that I expected it to. I was thoroughly disappointed and eventually I discarded my “knock-off” and spent a little more for the real deal.
1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
Few sentences in all the world strike at our hearts like this sentence from 1 John. Mimicking Jesus’ own “new” commandment (John 13:34-35), John reminds us all that we are called to this holy purpose here on earth. Dare I say that this world is already full of hell and pain, hatred and heartache…how better to display the Light of Christ to a darkened world than to love. But John doesn’t merely remind us to love with our words and with how we speak to people around us. That would be far too easy and a shallow, cheapened “knock-off” of Christ-likeness.
No one likes cheap stuff if they can afford the real deal. If we had the resources to have the original in our hands, to own it and enjoy it, we would never settle for a cheap “knock-off” copy! The world knows a thing or two about phoniness. There are far too many people in our world today who have experienced deceit and cons of every kind. They can spot the phony Christian a mile away. The kind of “Christian” who only pretends to love but is just as absorbed in their own little world as a non-Christian person. The pretend Christian won’t fool anyone for too long, because when it comes time for the rubber to meet the road, for faith to be put into action, the phonies will scatter and disappear at the moment of greatest need. The world does not need any more phonies, let alone phony Christians who are just artificial, cheap “knock-offs” of the real deal.
Newly Minted Originals:
This is not meant to discourage you dear fellow Christ-follower, this is just a warning to both you and me. Without real tangible evidence of love bedded deep within our actions towards others, we run the risk of becoming just another cheap “Knock-off”. Don’t let your faith become jaded. Don’t allow skepticism and judgement to taint your walk with the Lord. There is a very real spiritual war going on; we know the final outcome, yet Satan and his minions would like nothing more than to dissuade you as a Christ-follower and discourage you in your faith so that you only resemble what you once were. Don’t be swayed but how others treat you. Don’t become discouraged when you feel as if you’re the only Christian left standing. We are newly minted originals if we allow Christ’s love to permeate our faith in action. It does nothing to simply say the right things or speak these solid truths unless it is backed up by our actions as well. Those who are still lost cannot simply to Christ by sweet words and kind thoughts…they need real hands to show them the way. They need real feet to walk beside them. They need a shoulder to cry on when life has stripped them of their pride and possessions. They need you and me to go to them and not to wait in our halls or churches for them to come to us (which will never happen).
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let your love be seen from your heart to your hands! Let your faith propel you into action. Be bold, take risks, and discard the temptation to become just another cheap “knock-off” for Christ.