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"True Blue" Christian

Kathy Dingus



Recently my family and I went to the Scottish Highland games. We usually try to make this a family outing to attend every year. My father taught us to love our heritage.

The first time I attended the Highland games I wanted to be Scottish in every way. I felt I needed a kilt, a scarf, a name tag with my Clan's name on it, a little Scottish hat perched just so-so on my head. I wanted to listen to nothing but Scottish music and learn to play the bagpipes.

I have friends that are Scottish however, and they do not have an interest in their heritage, have a desire to wear a kilt, play the bagpipes or attend the Highland games.

I did purchase a hat and a name tag and a scarf, and I do listen to Celtic music most of the time. But when I take off my hat, name-tag and scarf and fold them away until the next occasion to wear them, the act of taking them off does not make me "un-Scottish."

I am still Scottish even if I do not wear the apparel of one. And my friends who are Scottish and do not care one way or another what their ancestry is, are still Scottish, although they do not appear to be outwardly.

Nothing much has really changed in my attitude about my love for all things Scottish, except the realization that I was Scottish by birth, not in the way I looked on the outside, or felt on the inside. The only thing that made me Scottish was the blood of my ancestors running through my veins.

This same attitude can be found in many of us today. We tend to think we need to look like a Christian, and be seen looking outwardly like a Christian, and acting like a Christian. We need to carry our briefcases filled with Bibles, with an extra translation or two, (I'm very guilty of this one) to church. We wear our church clothes, put on our church faces with church smiles and off we go to worship God.

But on our way home, when a car pulls out in front of us in traffic, or when someone shows us their short temper we tend to show our true colors. Christ might see the need for the speedy person traveling in the car that just cut us off to rightly go on ahead, and He might realize the need for love behind the anger of a short tempered person.

He would see the family that needed some extra food in the restaurant line in front of Him. He would see the need for clothing on a small child playing on the street. He would see the need a young Mother had for a few minutes of silence and rest from her screaming child. He would see the need of understanding a married couple displayed in their fits of hurling insults at one another. He would cover all with love.

My point is that we do not need outward appearances like a kilt, scarf and hat to make us feel Scottish. We already are by the blood of our ancestors. We do not need outward appearances of Christianity to make us a Christian. Christ makes us Christian by our acceptance of Him as our Lord and Savior and His blood that was shed for us.

Let's examine the Word of God on this subject. Matthew 9: 10_13 states: Later, as Jesus and His disciples were eating dinner (at Matthew's house) there were many notorious

swindlers there as guests.' The Pharisees were indignant. "Why does your teacher associate with men like that?" "Because people who are well don't need a doctor! It's the sick people who do!" was Jesus' reply.

Then he added, 'Now go away and learn the meaning of this verse of Scripture, It isn't your sacrifices and your gifts I want--I want you to be merciful." For I have come to urge sinners, not the self-righteous, back to God."

When Jesus visited Matthew, Jesus hurt his reputation. Matthew was cheating the people but Jesus found and changed him. We are not to be afraid to reach out to those with different lifestyles, because God's message can change anyone.

The Pharisees constantly tried to trap Jesus, and they thought his association with these "low lives" was the perfect opportunity. They were more concerned with their own appearance of holiness than in helping people, with criticism than encouragement, with outward respectability than practical help.

The Christian life is not a popularity contest. Following Jesus' example, we should share the Good News with the poor, lonely, and outcast, not just the good, talented and popular; and not just with those who have the outward appearance of a Christian already.

In Matthew 23: 5_7, he states "Everything they do is done for show. They act holy by wearing on their arms little prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and by lengthening the memorial fringes of their robes. And how they love to sit at the head table at banquet and in the reserved pews in the synagogue!

The little prayer boxes spoken of in the above verse were phylacteries. The Pharisees wore them because Exodus 13:9,16 commands people to keep God's Word close to their hearts, and they took this literally.

But these little prayer boxes had become more important for the status they gave than for the truth they contained. Jesus again exposed the hypocritical attitudes of religious leaders.

They didn't care about being holy--just looking holy in order to receive the people's admiration and praise.

Today, many people who know the Bible do not let it change their lives. They say they follow Jesus but don't live by His standards of love. We should strive to make sure our actions match our beliefs.

There's an old saying called "true-blue". True-blue means unchanging, unwavering or staunch, really real from the inside out. Let's be a "True-Blue" Christian on the inside and live our lives as Christ did.

He didn't need a kilt, a scarf and a hat to proclaim what He was to the world. He just gave His life for those He loved.