“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” -Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhi was born in India in 1869. He spent much of his life denying himself, living selflessly, fighting for the rights of the poor and lower class, and studying religion. He studied Hinduism and Christianity at length.
He readily admitted that much of his life was influenced by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. However, he never seriously considered becoming a Christian. Not because of Christ, but because of Christians.
He observed Christians in Europe and discovered racism and self-righteousness instead of love. He said that Christianity was not a feasible religion because it failed to impact the lives of its followers in any meaningful way. The lives of Christians were not really any different from the lives of people from other religions.
Unfortunately, Gandhi may be on to something.
The best evidence of our relationship with Jesus may be in how we love those around us. Love is not about me, or my needs. Love is willing to get messy. Love isn’t as concerned about being right as it is with being the hands and feet of Jesus. Love accepts the social outcasts and in place of judgement, gives them a tangible reminder of who Jesus is. Love overlooks the smell, the inconvenience, the reputation, and embraces the person before them because he/she was made in the image of Jesus.
Love speaks words of life, encouragement, and refreshment.
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” John 13:35