I, a Christian, feel that we Christians too often fail in these eight ways:
1. Too much money.
“Sell your possessions and give to the poor.” (Luke 12:33)
“You cannot serve God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24)
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19)
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:25)
Jesus wasn’t terribly clear about a lot of what he said (see #3 below). But how could he have been any clearer about his desire for “wealthy Christian” to be an oxymoron?
2. Too confident that God is more often than not pleased with how we behave. Most of us let ourselves off the hook so often we’ve worn our hooks down to a nub that a worm couldn’t curl itself around. We should have more faith that God remembers what we assume he forgets.
3. Too quick to believe that we understand Jesus. Show me a person who claims to fully comprehend even half of what Jesus said, and I’ll show you a person who is either frighteningly dense or flat-out lying.
4. Too action-oriented. We should spend less time imagining that we’re acting in the name of God, and more time in quiet reflection trying to discern what God’s will is in the first place.
5. Too invasive in the lives of others. Unless they’re manifestly doing harm to others or themselves, we should let people be. The best way for any of us to properly tend to the lives of others is to properly tend to our own lives.
6. Too quick to abandon logic. When talking to others about our faith, we Christians too often resort to a language and line of reasoning that leaves the norms of rational logic discourse sitting on the ground behind us, waving a sad good-bye. Speak of your religious experience as if it is the subjective phenomenon that it necessarily is and must remain, and you will come across as sane and reasonable. Insist that what’s true for you must be true for others, and cease wondering why you receive so few party invitations.
7. Too insular. Christians spend too much time hanging out with other Christians. No one can understand people they never get to know.
8. Too uneducated about the Bible and Christianity. We Christians are chronically prone to embarrassing ourselves by displaying how painfully unfamiliar we are with the history of Christianity and/or what’s actually in the Bible. It’s like bragging about living in a house that any fool can see is built upon sand. Right now would be an excellent time for us to stop doing that.