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Topic: The Gospel

Christianity Makes People Better

by Darrel Cline

On day we went to Norfolk to do some shopping. One of the things I wanted to get was three door closers to automatically shut the doors at the church so we wouldn't lose all of our heat and air conditioning when people neglected to close the doors. I found three units that would do very well, so I put them in my shopping cart and took them through the checkout stand. From that store my wife and I went to another. After an hour or two, we went to the truck. But the wife remembered something she wanted to do, so she went back into the store. I stayed at the truck with nothing to do, so I picked up the cash register receipt from the previous store and began to look it over. To my surprise I discovered that I had only been charged for two door closers. With some concern, I looked in the bag to see if I had three. I did. I looked over the receipt again and determined that I had indeed gotten away with three while only being charged for two. So, as soon as the wife came, we went back to the previous store. When I went to the customer complaint desk and told the lady that I had gotten three and only been charged for two, she looked over the receipt and said, "Well, that's really honest." She was apparently shocked because, in a couple of minutes, she said again, "That's really honest. There aren't many people like that around." Apparently the people she moves among aren't likely to go back to a store if they get away with something without having to pay for it.

What's the point? Christ makes people better people. Oh, I know there are a lot of religious people who are worse for their religion. In fact, all religious people are worse off for being religious. That is why Christianity isn't, strictly speaking, a religion. Religion is man's way of trying to cover his backside so he can live basically like he wants to and still think he is good enough to go to heaven. But, Christianity is a relationship with Jesus Christ. It is God's input into man's life so that the man is a better person for it. Take the abortion debate for an example of the difference. There are a lot of religious people who are opposed to abortion. But, their religion makes them mean. They shoot the people they disagree with. They scream insults at the people who are doing abortions, or having them done. Their hatred is palpable and they justify themselves with the horror of the taking of the lives of unborn babies. On the other hand, there are a lot of genuine Christians who also oppose abortion. But their relationship with Jesus makes them oppose it with alternative solutions for the women who have unwanted babies in their wombs. It is Jesus that makes the difference. Hate mongers who use Jesus' teaching to vent their private rage at what they consider a acceptable target are just misguided religious people who are living for themselves and using Christ's words as a place to hide. Christians work just as hard to save the babies, but they do it with grace and love in their hearts.

Yes, true Christianity makes people better people than they were before; not better than their neighbor, just better than they used to be. It made this former thief honest. What has it done for you?

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This is article #154.
If you wish, you may contact Darrel as darrelcline at this site.