There are alot of things in our lives that have expectations: job descriptions, social behaviors, standardized tests, . . . . We put alot of expectations on ourselves about how a person should act, look, dress, speak, etc and I think that sometimes, Christianity or religion can be a really tricky “filter”. Looking like a Christian, talking like a Christian, dressing like a Christian doesn’t make a person a follower of Jesus. We can match up to all of the external expectations but in our hearts, we can be a million miles away from the reason Jesus died for us. The reason Jesus died for us was not merely to make our external image appealing, but moreseo to transform what’s on the inside of us. The defining distinctive Jesus identifies as being His follower is our love for each other (John 13:35). Loving well is very important 🙂
Today, Maya Angelou passed into eternity. Dr Angelou was 86 years old and achieved so many things that if I were to attempt listing them here, someone would likely be offended that I left out something important. She was a writer, artist, teacher, mother, grand mom, activist and LOTS more! She grew up in a tumultuous time and totally swam against the current, which is one reason why I want to honor her today. As I looked through some of her writing, I thought it would be fitting to share this poem she wrote as encouragement to those who endeavor to walk in Jesus’ footsteps:
I’M A CHRISTIAN By Maya Angelou When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not shouting “I’m clean livin.” I’m whispering “I was lost,” Now I’m found and forgiven. When I say…”I am a Christian” I don’t speak of this with pride. I’m confessing that I stumble and need CHRIST to be my guide. When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not trying to be strong. I’m professing that I’m weak and need HIS strength to carry on. When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not bragging of success. I’m admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess. When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not claiming to be perfect, My flaws are far too visible but, God believes I am worth it. When I say… “I am a Christian” I still feel the sting of pain, I have my share of heartaches So I call upon His name. When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not holier than thou, I’m just a simple sinner who received God’s good grace, somehow.
Please forgive me – I was informed that Dr Angelou did not write the preceding poem. Rather, it was written by Carol Wimmer. I’m sorry for making this mistake, but would like to honor Dr Angelou, nonetheless. She was an amazing person & her numerous & diverse achievements will be treasured for decades to come. Again, I apologize for my mistake.