The Accredited Christian

In the healthcare world in which I operate, “accreditation” is important. An accreditation is documentation and certification of a certain standard of practice that has been shown to produce optimal patient outcomes and organizational success. The accreditation process is generally rigorous and thorough. Preparation for accreditation involves extensive review of the standards that your business will be held accountable to. Most importantly, achieving accreditation demands that you can draw a straight line from every detail of the accreditation standards to your own operational policies, procedures and practices. It is not enough to “embrace” the standards. One must demonstrate compliance through tangible evidence.

I believe it would be helpful if we, as Christians, took a similar, rigorous, approach to Christian living. Could we actually connect the dots from God’s commands to our lives? Could we show where we are actually living, doing, behaving in ways that positively demonstrate our obedience to God’s Word? Take, for example, the most basic and fundamental of all commandments: Love God. Now, how would you demonstrate your love to God from the “policies and procedures” of your real life? What habits do you maintain that show an unmistakable love for the Lord? A love that is not merely superficial, but which extends to all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and all your mind. I’m not asking for evidence of perfect, unbroken, flawless compliance. But rather regular, deliberate, and obvious things that prove your love for God. “I love Him, therefore I…” Fill in the blank.

Some may suppose this smacks of self-righteousness. Isn’t this exactly what the Pharisees were doing? Not at all. The hypocrite just wants to boast. The Christian, however, wants to obey. The Pharisee is happy to appear righteous before men. The Christian wants to live righteously before God. And this happens not merely by loving holiness, but practicing it.

Are you an accredited Christian? I know my own life would benefit from a more thorough examination of how God’s commands actually translate into practice. Such an approach will likely humble us as we discover how far short we fall. Such an approach will motivate us to be more deliberate and careful about the way we live. Most of all, it will drive us to Jesus Christ, whose life was in every respect, at every moment, a perfect representation of Godly living.

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