When you walk through life, as a Christian, do you walk with a limp or strut? There are two very big differences and people take notice. The contrariety in the same movement of walking through life is a look inside your heart. Have you ever just met someone with a spiritual limp and knew they were a Christian by their compassion and humbleness? Or maybe you have met someone with a spiritual strut and knew they were a Christian through their holiness and righteousness. These are two very distinct differences in those who claim the name Christian. I do not claim to know which one is right, I can’t possibly claim to know what God has in store for either walker. I just know what I know of Jesus and of the watcher’s careful view on Christianity.
Let’s start with the limper. There is this humbled walker. Knowing in their humanity they will not reach perfection until Glory. It’s all Grace and Mercy that sees them through each day. Simply put, they need the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in their brokenness. They run their race knowing they aren’t the clear winner, though they know they have victory in Jesus. It’s all about getting to the finish line humbly knowing they cannot get there without God. They see people. People in need, people limping, people crawling, and in their jaggedness, they show compassion and grace to those striving to get to the end and they swoop them up, allowing the hurt to lean on them until they get to the end. They may not win the race, but they’ll finish it with a great hope. They’re the tax collectors in the Temple, they are the Peter’s when the rooster crows, they are Jesus washing feet.
Then we have the strut. The prideful step in walking with Jesus is how they are recognized. Knowing and being saved by Jesus is what makes them different, sometimes better than. They also know they have victory in Jesus. This means they deserve more in life. They deserve respect and acknowledgement because they are Royalty and everyone else is a body in need of saving. They are running their race, too. They know where they’re going and they are wasting no time getting there. They have finely tuned muscles and can just hurdle over any of the people slowing them down. They are not going to reach the end alone, though. They save people on the sidelines along the way, training them to build their muscles and run the race fast as can be. Ready to jump over hurdles, making sure not to trip over the weak, the ones that fall behind.
I do not believe either is right or wrong. Both believe they are walking their walk according to how they are taught. However, I do not believe that matters to the people hurting. They want to see confidence in Christ, but they don’t want to see arrogance in Christians. Some may prefer the humbled and find Jesus and their true selves in the humility of faith and gratefulness. Some may find a place in the strutting of the prideful. They may have this inner need to belong to something greater. I do have to question if that is from the ego, though.
I’m one with a limp. I know I’m breathing borrowed breath and I definitely don’t deserve all the greatness God has gifted me. I’m a recovering alcoholic who has destroyed many lives in my selfishness and mental disparity. God loves me anyway. So I love people anyway, in all their flaws. I have had a conversation with a strutter about my limp. I didn’t realize this person was so arrogant in their religion because they were just like me before accepting Jesus. I was so confused until I realized this person was taught this thinking. The ego is very susceptible to being groomed, and to me, they were being groomed. I often wonder if this person was shocked that I was a limper. I have not always been this way. I was the head turner when I walked in rooms. People knew I was there, whether or not they wanted me to be. Here this friend is, looking at someone they used to know. Here I am, looking at someone I used to know. The commonality was Jesus, the difference was our walk with him. I’d love to keep in contact with this friend, but how does a limping Christian keep up with someone who won’t even look behind to see others on their path?
So in closing, whether you are limping or strutting the race, do not forget it’s the same race we all are participating in. Let us not forget that Jesus is the one thing we have in common. Grace is given, grace is received, and grace should be what people see more than our strut, more than our walk.