Saturday, August 05, 2006

Loyalty Through Lifestyle

It is said that, during the first century, the symbol of the fish was used as a secret code by early Christians who were being persecuted in order to identify fellow believers. These Christians would draw half of a fish on the ground when they encountered a stranger and, if the stranger completed the rest of the fish symbol, then they both knew that they were in the company of a fellow believer.

For those of us who live in countries where there isn’t any major religious persecution, we are blessed with the ability to openly express our loyalty to Christ. Many place the fish symbol known as the ICTHUS (ICTHUS is a Greek acrostic that stands for "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior.") on their cars, jewelry, clothing, and even on their bodies. Such open expression of loyalty to the one who saves all who believe in Him is a beautiful thing; however, this declaration of allegiance should be just as obvious, if not more, through our actions and our lives as Christ-followers.

Galatians 5:22-25 tells us that, when we allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives, evidence of our allegiance to and love for Christ is apparent. Such evidence includes “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”. While others might assume we have these “Fruits of the Spirit” just because we wear a symbol of a fish, such fruits can only be produced by the Holy Spirit’s help in our daily lives, not through any religious symbol.

Is your Christ-like attitude and allegiance turned off when you leave your ICTHUS branded car or when you take off your ICTHUS jewelry and clothes? If someone were to meet you for the first time, would they be able to tell that you are a Christ-follower even if you didn’t have any religious symbols nearby? It should be apparent to others that we, as Christians, serve the one true God and that we actually walk the walk of the Christian lifestyle instead of just claiming to. Communicating our loyalty to God through religious symbols is awesome, but without loyalty to God through our lifestyles, these symbols become nothing more than a false fa├žade.


Rusty said...

I can't tell you how I act without Christian jewelry on since I never take my Greek Cross/Ecc 4:12 ring off! ;-) Another excellent post though, as it's a constant struggle for me to be a light instead of a grouser. Thanks for the reminder!

Glad to see the blog is working again... for a couple of days there, it was serving up the page from the beginning of JUNE! Must be that hosting company of yours... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Great post! I love Galatians 5... I feel that it's a GREAT chapter for young adults to study~ nicely done.