I recently read an interview with a professional football player where he was asked about a dropped pass. I was glad they asked him about it. He is paid a lot of money to catch passes. He is a professional. He is not supposed to drop passes. I have seen athletes who blame the passer, or the weather, or use other excuses. I have even heard athletes say it is no big deal to miss one pass – no one catches everything. This athlete said he should have caught it, he was going to work harder in practice, and he would concentrate even harder so he would never drop another pass. I imagine he will drop another one at some point in his career, but I sure liked his attitude. I am now a fan of his, and I want his team to do well.

I found myself applying these principles to Christians who sin. We are not supposed to sin. We are supposed to be different. We claim to be, we ought to be, and we want to be. Yet sometimes we drop the ball spiritually. I am convinced that is when our true credibility is established. Christians are not perfect. We sin and make mistakes. The test of our faith and the authenticity of our belief will be seen in how we respond to those sins.

Authentic Christians do not make excuses. They are sorry, ashamed, and hurt when they do things not in harmony with their convictions. They pledge to do better, they take corrective action, and they seek forgiveness. Real Christians are not hypocrites because they sin. They are hypocritical if they fail to deal with it.

If you have been hesitant to "buy into" the idea of Jesus because of what some of his followers have done, I urge you to look a little deeper. We are not perfect, we sometimes make mistakes, and we betray our principles sometimes. But your decision about Jesus is not based on what any Christian has done. It needs to be based on what Jesus has done.

So I am asking you to look past our failures. We are not yet what we want to be. But because of Jesus, we are being changed. We are becoming more like him and less like this world.

Christians are not perfect, but we follow the One who is.
If you would like to visit more about authentic Christianity, write me at steve@hopeforlife.org . Or visit www.hopeforlife.org and comment on our blog about this topic.

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