I was just watching American Idol last night and was reminded again that it’s not just a great voice, but it’s something more that sets people apart. It’s that “X-factor,” that charisma that makes a voice memorable and impactful and allows the performance to be something more than just the act of singing. There’s that something that’s sets the truly great singers apart.
As I contemplate this idea, I was thinking about the discussion in my men’s group this morning. We were talking about how to be salt and light in such a dark world; how to communicate the gospel message in a winsome way that meets all the competing ideologies and influences. But really what we were talking about is, what sets a Christian apart? By that I mean a follower of Jesus. I hesitate to use the word “Christian” because it’s now become a religious tag that represents all kinds of things that have nothing to do with Jesus.
So the real question is, what sets you apart as a follower of Christ? Jesus said it was very simple, that the world would know that we were His by our love. Yet love can become a touchy-feely thing if it’s not put into practice. The challenge is to practice love every single day until the question is, “What are you doing to set yourself apart as a great lover? Who is it you’ve forgiven that’s betrayed you? Who is it that you’ve helped that doesn’t deserve it? Who is it that you’ve made an effort to get to know at work that ignores you?”
What are the practical random acts of generosity motivated by love? Those are the only things that truly set you apart; your acts of generosity and kindness motivated by your love for Christ, which motivates you to love the things that He loves. And He loves people – fractured, broken, hurting people.