Tuesday, June 27, 2017
“Let others see their own Christianity and love reflected in your eyes and life.” ― Mollie Marti
I have been saddened recently (and I am hardly alone in this) by the actions of some major denominations in the United States who claim to be Christian but who act like Christ never lived or taught or meant anything to anyone. That being said, you may be wondering why there is a picture of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” on my Facebook post, but here is why. (I have preached more than one sermon on this, so you may have heard this before, but it is worth hearing a second time.) I was once making myself some toast as a midnight snack and got a tub of the yellow stuff out of the fridge and put it on the table. When the toast popped up, I grabbed the pieces while they were still hot, put them on the table, and opened the tub so the margarine would melt quickly. Imagine my shock when I found left-over mashed potatoes inside the “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” tub. Well, it sure wasn’t butter (I did not spread mashed potatoes on my toast). The thing is that Christians are either like that tub that I opened or they are like bananas. Let me explain. That yellow tub looked good and was just perfect on the outside, but it hid that it was being used like tupperware for left-over mashed potatoes on the inside. There are a whole lot of Christians just like that yellow tub (including me, once). They look like Christians on the outside but what they say and do hides what is on the inside. Just because a church exists doesn’t mean it is going to please Christ or that it produces authentic Christians. Going to church and Sunday School doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to McDonald’s makes you a Big Mac. It’s not about looking good on the outside, it’s about being real on the inside and that’s what you get with a banana.
No matter whether they are green (not ripe yet) or yellow, they are covered with a peel that just screams “bananas” to everyone who sees them. And no matter whether you peel them from the top or the bottom or from the middle, what’s inside is pure banana, only banana, all banana. It they have been bruised, there may be a brown spot on the inside but that does’t make the whole banana bad, it just shows it had a hard time somewhere. Your Christianity needs to be of the “banana” kind—authentic and true, through and through. The only way to know what is in the tub is to open it, but you can just look at a banana and know what’s inside. Christ taught us and showed us how to be “banana” Christians: love each other, don’t hate, forgive, walk the extra mile, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, take care of the widows and orphans. Be so real that no one, not a single person ever has to ask if you are a Christian. There are already way too many yellow tub Christians who “talk the talk.” What we need are more (happily there are millions) “banana” Christians who never surprise anyone by what’s inside them because everyone already knows. I don’t gamble any more, but if I did, I would bet that you know both kinds of Christians and even go to church with some, but you know the “banana” Christians and can name them without thinking very much. Don’t be a “I Can’t Believe He/She Is A Christian”—be a banana for Christ. And every time you see or eat a banana, remember this and keep your feet “walking the walk” and living for the Lord who died for you.