Do you walk the walk or do you just talk the talk?
Do you live in a way that people know you are a Christian every day of the week – or would they have to see you coming out of church on Sunday to know what you believe?
I’d like to believe I am the former, though I know there is always room for improvement. I was having lunch with an associate last week and we were talking about religion—specifically MY religion. He knew I was a Mormon and he was asking about my involvement with the youth program and where I attended church (there are lots of Mormons in Colorado—yay!). During the course of our conversation he remarked that I “did not wear [my] religion on my sleeve.” I have been pondering on that as I read Brad Wilcox’s new book The 7-Day Christian. The 7-Day Christian is about living your beliefs every day and how that can change the world–and more importantly–you.
Can you imagine a world where every Christian fully lived the teachings of Christ every day? What an amazing place that would be, and what a different world we would live in. Anyway, I have been pondering on whether I live my beliefs enough, a very appropriate topic as I have read through this book. Filled with personal experiences and practical suggestions, it is a primer on living your faith. No matter what Christian sect you belong to, this book can help you more fully embrace and live your Christianity.
For me, as I read the personal stories, I thought about similar experiences in my own life, when there were parallels, and analyzed how well I thought I did and how I could improve in the future. One of my favorite chapters was “Never Check Your Religion at the Door.” There certainly have been times in my life where that would have made things so much easier, but I never have and have never once regretted it, even when I was (almost literally) shaking in my shoes.
Another chapter that was a great reinforcement for me was “Facing Our People Fears.” It is still difficult at times to share my beliefs when I don’t know how they will be received, but I find that the more I share, the easier it gets—and they are nearly always received respectfully even when there is no real interest. The bottom of my computer is lined with sticky notes containing phrases and quotes from the book (it’s how I read and review books). This one from that chapter has already migrated to the bulletin board:
If we are confident in our principles, standards, faith and actions, we do not need to fear the rejection or ridicule of those who do not share them.
I love that and I have come to realize that regardless of what someone else thinks of my beliefs, they are mine and I will “own” them.
I will be returning often to “Seven Days of Re-Creation.” I will confess to having read through much of the book rather quickly in order to complete my review, but this chapter parallels the creation of the earth with God’s re-creation of us. There is so much to think about in this chapter and such a reminder that in order to grow and change and become all that we can be that we must allow God to work in us and through us. If you are looking for insight and inspiration as you strive to live more fully as a Christian, The 7-Day Christian is a book to add to your reading list.
The 7-Day Christian is available in hardcover and ebook from Deseret Book by clicking here.