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What exactly is a Christian?

As my daughter Monique read a book to her 6-year-old daughter Charlie, Charlie asked, “What exactly is a Christian?”

Keep in mind that Charlie has been raised in church and has parents who pray with her daily. She knows about God, Jesus’ sacrificial death, and the importance of accepting His sacrifice for her sins. But Charlie wanted specifics.

“When someone needs help, a Christian would help out,” Monique said. “If someone is sad or upset, a Christian would try to make them feel better.”

“Well,” Charlie said, “I don’t think I’m a Christian.”

I can relate. Sometimes there’s a gap between what I know I should do and what I feel like doing, or what I think I’m capable of doing. I don’t always feel equipped for a task. Can anyone relate?

I think Gideon could. His story is told in Judges 6 and begins with him threshing wheat in a wine press, hiding from the enemy. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!” At that point in his life, I don’t think Gideon felt like a mighty hero,

but it encourages me that God sees us differently than we see ourselves.

When Gideon questioned his circumstances, he was told, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” Judges 6:14.

There’s a lesson there for Charlie and me. Although we are aware of our limitations, God has given us the strength we need to accomplish the tasks He has placed before us. And it gets even better. In Judges 6:16, the Lord told Gideon, “I will be with you.”

Gideon’s story ended with victory. Charlie later told Monique, “I think I really am a Christian.” And today I’ll carry both of their stories in my heart as I face whatever God has in store for me.

 

Ronny Michel can be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.