Ok, I have to share… I have a small pet peeve.

I cringe when I see things that are labeled “Christian.”

I’ll give you an example:

Over the Christmas holiday, my husband and I made the long drive back to Wisconsin to visit some of my family.  I usually busy myself with reading or writing while we’re driving but on this particular stretch of the trip I was just kicking back taking in the sites.  As I was reading billboards and studying vast stretches of farmland, I kept seeing signs for the “Christian Outlet Mall”.

Christian Outlet Mall?  What in the world is that?  I’m familiar with Christian bookstores full of Christian music, books and Precious Moments trinkets but how in the world is there enough product to fill an entire outlet mall?

I was so curious I actually wanted to stop and check this place out, but it was Christmas Day… no one is open on Christmas Day (I know because I ate popcorn and a V8 for lunch from the one gas station we could find open) and certainly not an entire mall that calls itself Christian.
For as much as I could deduce from the signs, I don’t think this Christian Outlet was full of Christian products.  I think it was just an outlet mall that was owned by Christians.

But here’s why that’s a pet peeve for me…

Why do we feel the need to proclaim we’re Christian through inanimate objects?

“Let your light so shine before men that they will see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16

I don’t want to have to say that I’m a Christian, I want it to be obvious.  The fruits of the spirit are compelling… they’re distinct… they get attention.  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are counter-cultural (Galatians 5:22-23).  If you are displaying those things people will want to be a part of what you are doing.  The evidence of fruit in your life will go much farther than putting a Christian bumper sticker on your car, the icthus on your advertising or the word Christian in your name.

Be the light and it will shine!

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