At Mass yesterday, the homily was about hypocrisy. Being one way on the outside, and another on the inside. A friend once asked me, if you met me and didn’t know me, would you know that I’m a Christian. I said no, but that had less to do with her, and more to do with not really having a good idea about what it means to “look” like a Christian.
Let’s start with the inside, arguably the most important part. What does it mean to be a Christian, inside? To me, it means that you accept that you are a sinner. It means that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal saviour. Once doing so, you keep Him with you as you go along on your earthly journey. It means that you go to church. That you surround yourself with other Christians. That you read the Bible and pray. That you follow God’s word such as the Ten Commandments and God’s other teachings. That you try to do the right thing. That you accept that you are not perfect. That you try to accept and forgive others. That you fight for what is right. That you understand that there is evil in this world and you wait for the glory that is waiting for you in heaven.
How does that translate to the outside? I believe that all those things in the inside should shine through to the outside somehow. What does a Christian look like? I think we are kind and loving people. But we also have to be firm and stand up for our faith and for God. We are modest. We are dignified. We are down to earth. We look like we care more about the inside than the outside, which doesn’t mean we are dumpy and don’t care about our appearance, but it should mean that we are not overly concerned about the outside. We are balanced.
Most importantly, we are loving. Like the song says:
“They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”
Peace and love.