A spectator is someone who attends an event and watches from the sidelines. They don’t actually get involved, but they want to be near it. That’s as far as they want to go in being part of it. So I ask you: are you a spectator Christian? Have you filled yourself up on knowledge about Jesus without ever actually internalizing it?
Of course the knee-jerk reaction of most would be to bristle at the question. Why would anyone ever admit to such a shallow commitment, right? So keep this just between you and God when you answer. Let’s all be honest here. Are you actively engaged in following Jesus or simply a spectator Christian?
Jesus said that others would know whether or not we were part of Him by the fruit we bore. So we must examine what kind of fruit our labor is producing. Are we making a difference in anyone’s life or are we spending our energy making ourselves comfortable, safe, and happy? While Jesus desperately wants you to be happy, you must know that the key to happiness is to love Him. As long as we’re chasing the things of this world, the comfort and status of our neighbors, or the acceptance of our friends, we will never be happy. True happiness is found in obeying Christ.
So how’s your fruit? What is the product your life is producing? If we are true followers of Jesus, the fruit we produce will be love. I know this because it was what Jesus produced at all times. There was and is no end to His love. Everything He did was out of love for another. Guess what that means? If we want to live like Jesus, then everything we do must be done out of love for another. We’re going to have to get involved in the lives of other people. It’s going to get messy. It’s going to be hard. But it’s going to look like Jesus.
A spectator Christian cheers on others from the sidelines and then goes home after the event to curl up in their comfortable and safe life. They never board a plane to another country, get in the car to drive to across town, or walk out the door to converse with a neighbor. A spectator Christian can’t be bothered with people because they are too wrapped up in themselves. And just to be clear, going to a church building once or twice a week is not enough to count as being involved in the lives of others. Honestly, how often do you actually think about the people in your church as you go throughout your week?
I’ve been a spectator Christian too much of my life. That’s why I rarely identify myself as a Christian these days. I’m a Jesus follower. Too many Christians spend their whole lives playing at church and easy service projects. But Christ followers are hitting the road, reaching out, and loving others. It’s what we are all called to do. It’s the only way to be happy. It’s the only way to become the person Jesus created you to be. And it’s the only way to legitimately love God. It’s time we all got off the sidelines; no more spectator Christians. It’s time to get in the game.