Christian…When Convenient

Praying-David Castillo Dominici

(Image by David Castillo Dominici, courtesy of

On Facebook the other day, someone shared a blog post (sorry, don’t remember the blog) by a lady who was explaining why her family chose not to make Santa Claus a part of their Christmas celebration. (I’m sure a number of blogs have weighed in about that topic lately.) Although my children are big now, they believed in Santa when they were little, as did I. However, this lady’s blog post was so well-considered and thoughtful that I found myself thinking “Whew…glad it’s too late for me to have to examine my conscience about THAT issue!” Quite frankly, I couldn’t disagree with a thing she said. For example, she wanted Jesus to be the focus of Christmas, and she also felt that by tricking her children about Santa, they might doubt her veracity on more important issues later. That’s very true. But dang it, it’s just not very much FUN! It conflicts with my fondness and nostalgia for the magic of Santa.

Do you see what I’m getting at, here? I do NOT wish to start a comment war, or even have any discussion at all, really, about whether or not your family does the Santa thing. That’s not my point at all. My point is that I was convicted by this woman’s post to wonder how many OTHER truths we might avoid, discard, or gloss over, because, well, they just interfere with our normal life and the things we enjoy doing. Boy, we hate when faith gets pushy, don’t we? It’s easy to be Suzie Church-girl on Sunday morning, but the rest of the week is tougher. We hate when truth sticks its nose into our non-church-related business.

I knew a lady once–true story, y’all–who was so very religious that she would not refer to a deviled egg as a DEVILED egg. She called it a “dressed egg.” LOL. She would bow her head to bless her food in a business meeting or whatever, she didn’t care, because that was what she felt was right. And I could give many other examples of her careful Christian conduct. Yet she lived with a man she was not married to! (Well, he wouldn’t marry her and she couldn’t afford to live alone…what was she supposed to do, move back in with her parents? ANSWER: Yes.)

I know another lady who went to Bible college and was at church every time the doors opened, yet her husband came home early from a trip and caught her with a fellow church member. (Well, her husband was a jerk and her love for him had died, while this other man was so nice and kind to her. She just couldn’t help herself! ANSWER: Yes, she could have.)

I know a businesswoman who is very devout, yet that does not stop her from capitalizing on the misfortunes of her customers and accepting a payment for sending them to a collections attorney, instead of making every effort to contact them herself. (But that’s just business, isn’t it? ANSWER: No.)

As for me (I’m sure I’m guilty of a multitude, but this is the first thing that came to mind) I know that I had a long-term, deep-seated longing to wear dresses only, for years and years before I actually did it. I felt drawn to that and wanted to do it, but dang it, y’all, I didn’t want people to think I was a weirdo! Who goes to the grocery store or does outdoor activities in a DRESS?! (That’s just good fashion sense, right? Answer: No. Not for me, anyway.) (P.S. When I did finally switch to dresses-only, even my OWN HUSBAND didn’t notice…for TEN MONTHS. Ha! Just think of how much time and energy we spend worrying about what other people think of us and how we look and what we do, when the truth is, they’re worrying about their own selves!)

I think most of us can be ever-so-Christian, until Christian standards of conduct conflict with something we really want to do, or how we’re perceived by those whose opinions we care about. And I don’t necessarily think that’s being an intentional hypocrite, it’s just being an imperfect person, still under construction, still growing…as long as we are willing to examine our hearts.

Although my children are too old for me to have to reconsider the Santa question, this idea of being Christian-when-convenient reminds me of a line from a secular song, “One of Us.” You may remember it goes, “What if God was one of us?” The line I’m thinking of is one that says, “If God had a face, what would it look like? And would you want to see, if seeing meant that YOU WOULD HAVE TO BELIEVE, (capitals are mine) in things like heaven and in Jesus and the saints, and all the prophets…” The line always struck me rather funny…when you consider all the atheists and agnostics in the world…if they could suddenly have absolute physical proof that God was real, wouldn’t they be awfully bummed out to know that they could no longer go through life disregarding Him?! Talk about a lifestyle changer!

And what about us? Are there certain faith-based things that we do consistently, not so much because they are right but because we love to do them anyway? Then how about the opposite? Are there areas in our lives that we keep securely set aside in the “not-faith-related” box? Things we wouldn’t say/do/drink/participate in/watch/listen to…if our pastor or our church friends could see us? God sees us, though. We already know that, but sometimes we live as though we don’t. This is probably something we could all give some prayerful thought to.  And then, some action.



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