Why Are Not All Christians Nice?

   C.S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity, once considered this question: "If Christianity is true why are not all Christians obviously nicer than all non-Christians?" Good question, right? What is the answer? Lewis answered his own question this way: "If conversion to Christianity makes no improvement in a man's outward actions - if he continues to be just as snobbish or spiteful or envious or ambitious as he was before - then I think we must suspect that his 'conversion' was largely imaginary."

    According to Lewis, if a man claims to have converted to Christ, yet, has not changed in his behavior, the individual is clearly not converted as they think. In other words, they are not saved. Does Jesus teach this? If Lewis says this but it does not align with Christ, we should consider Lewis' statement as false. In fact, Jesus does teach this, He said: "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits." (Matt. 7:15-20, ESV)
   
    Jesus teaches us that we judge men by their fruit, meaning, by their results or by their deeds. One can know whether another is truly converted to Christ or not by observing what men do. One can even judge himself in the same way. If one is truly converted to Christ, according to Lewis, even more so, according to Jesus, you will bear good fruit. However, if you or someone claims to have converted to Jesus, but are not bearing good fruit, you are not truly converted to Jesus as you believe, and your deeds reveal so.

    This dos not imply that one will be perfect. Never met a perfect man and there never has been one aside from Jesus, who is God in the flesh. However, the key word to Lewis' statement is "improvement." If a person has truly converted you should witness an improvement and change in behavior. This is a result of conversion to Christ.

    How big of a deal is this? Big. Lewis wrote, "When we Christians behave badly, or fail to behave well, we are making Christianity unbelievable to the outside world....Our careless lives set the outer world talking; and we give them grounds for talking in a way that throws doubt on the truth of Christianity itself." What is he saying? Lewis is making the point that when we as people who claim to follow Christ have bad behavior, we make the gospel appear worthless, useless and without value. Thus how you live your life as a Christian reflects on the Gospel of Jesus. In the words of Paul the Apostle, "we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us." (2 Cor. 5:20, ESV)

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