Can you call yourself a "Christian" this year?

September 20, 2007 — Leave a comment

Fellow blogger Mark Batterson and I have been corresponding about his first triathlon. On his Blog Mark writes about competing in his first triathlon last weekend.

Triathlon is an amazing and highly addictive sport, so I wasn’t surprised when, after the race, Mark admitted, “I think I’m hooked. I can’t imagine not running another triathlon.”

When I wrote to congratulate Mark I made sure that he knew that he was now officially a “triathlete.” Which may seem obvious to you, but that’s only because you don’t know about the secret triathlete laws. Here are a few:

1. You can’t wear a t-shirt from a race unless you’ve actually finished the race. It would be inappropriate for me to wear a “Ironman Florida” t-shirt if I haven’t finished the race.
2. Finishing a triathlon is as good as winning.
3. No matter how bad you are “bonking” always smile and try to look “buff” as you pass the photographer on the race course.
4. It’s o.k. to wash around the body-marking on your arms and legs for a couple of days. The numbers that are written on your body will be your personal souvenir.
And,
5. You can’t call yourself a triathlete if you haven’t completed a race in the last year.

Triathlon is a demanding sport which requires a lot of discipline, hard work, and commitment, so it’s a big deal to be considered a “Triathlete.” Since we’ve both finished triathlons this summer Mark and I can both call ourselves “Triathletes”–at least as long as we keep racing. Regardless of how busy I am, I love being a triathlete, so I make myself do at least one race each season. Now that I am one I always want to be one.

As I shared this information with Mark I started thinking . . . What if we had the same kind of rule in Christianity?

btw: I’m glad we don’t, but what if you could only call yourself a “Christian” if you helped to fulfill the Great Commission in the past 12 months by leading someone to Christ? What kind of impact would that have on the Church? What kind of impact would that have on our evangelistic efforts?

I love being a Christian. I wasn’t always a Christian, but now that I am one I always want to be one. I want to be the best Christ-follower I can be. I want to always be worthy of the name that is above all other names.

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