There’s a story about Alexander the Great, who lived in the 4th century B.C. On one of his campaigns, he learned that one of his soldiers was acting seriously out of line. The soldier’s name was also Alexander.
The commander decided to speak to the soldier in person. After reviewing the bad behavior, Alexander the Great asked, “Soldier, what is your name?” The soldier replied, “Alexander, sir.”
The general then said: “Soldier, either change your behavior, or change your name.” Alexander the Great couldn’t bear to have someone with his name behaving badly.
There’s an important lesson for us here: we call ourselves “CHRISTIAN.” We identify with Christ. We take his name and apply it to our identity. Therefore, our behavior and our actions need to be compatible with the name of Christ.
I made a quick list of 10 basic ways Christians are supposed to behave. Some of them are obviously easier than others.
1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind — and your neighbor as yourself.
2. Treat others with kindness.
3. Be forgiving, even when “they know not what they do” (as Jesus did on the cross).
4. Turn the other cheek.
5. Do good.
6. Be generous.
7. Don’t judge.
8. Read Scripture.
9. Worship and pray
10. Remember: Jesus died for your eternal redemption!
Around 200 A.D. the Christian author Tertullian described how outsiders see Christians: “See how they love one another and how they are ready to die for each other.”
Do you call yourself a “Christian?” Remember that there are many who are looking at the way you live, as individuals, and in churches, forming an understanding of what it means to be a Christian. More importantly than that, we are the Body of Christ. We are Christ Jesus to others by the way we speak and live.
Instead of changing our names, let’s live giving glory to God and witnessing to Jesus Christ.