I got asked a question about an individual that had me stumble. Not because this person doesn’t fit positively in the question, rather the question in itself had me stumble as I applied it to myself. Here’s what I was asked:
Is _____ a strong Christian?
I knew immediately the answer to that question. What I didn’t quite know is if someone asked that question about me, what their response would be. I pondered on, Is Vashti a strong christian?
You’re probably asking yourself that question about yourself right now. I get it. It gets you thinking. Who knew such a simple question could stir so much questioning. In my pondering, I shifted from “me” to simply – What is a “strong Christian?”
In the Christian realm we use the term “strong Christian” to describe someone who is known for their strong faith in Christ. Individuals who are in the spotlight to some degree or another and makes their following of Christ known. They dress the part, look the part and act the part. They quote scriptures and seem to have the “Christian walk” pretty much solved. Is that really what a “strong Christian” is? Do we maybe have that all wrong? Did we mess up entirely by compartmentalizing Christianity into “weak, regular and strong?” As I asked myself these questions, I was appropriately sipping on coffee. The concept of levels of coffee roast came to mind as I questioned why we have placed Christianity into categories.
Driftawary Coffee has an article on the difference between Light Roast, Medium Roast & Dark Roast. The writer, Scotts describes the uniqueness between the levels. Here’s what he writes summarized for your reading:
- Retains most of the original coffee characteristics
- Has the highest acidity and are the brightest of the three roast levels.
- Has a darker brown color than a light roast and will look richer
- Coffee’s oils may be visible on the beans
- Contains a balance between acidity and body
- Has a brighter, fuller body in taste
- Has a dark brown, sometimes almost black, in color.
- Coffee oils can be seen on dark roasted beans.
- In dark roast, you’re almost exclusively tasting notes from the roast
- The brightness of light roasts is replaced with body in dark roasts
- Bold Bodies and a Richer Taste
So what does roast level have to do with Christianity? Well let’s take a look at it using coffee roast level analogy.
Light (weak) Christian:
- Has accepted Jesus and sought salvation through coming of faith
- Has a brighter tenacity from their recent coming to Christ, however still struggling with who they were prior to salvation.
Medium (regular) Christian:
- Seasoned Christian who spends time with in prayer, fasting and God’s word
- They do not hide their faith walk
- Contains a balance between faith walk and struggles
- Has a brighter, fuller Christian walk
Dark (strong) Christian:
- Bold in nature.
- Christianity radiates
- Knows God’s and makes it known
- Richness in walk with Christ replaces struggles
- Bold in walk and richer in character
Looking at this, I would suggest that believing doesn’t make a difference, it is doing and living. Coffee is coffee in it’s original form. It wasn’t born into a “level.” Not until it curates into different forms does it become what it is known for, light, medium and dark.
Like coffee, humans are humans. You cannot be physically born into Christianity. Not until we are curated (accept Jesus as our Christ and savior) do we then fall into the categories of light, medium and dark faith. It is not about belief alone. It is living out what we believe and why we believe it to the fullest. Faith and works work hand in hand. In the Christian faith we should continuously develop and grow. Stagnancy and compliancy is not growth.
So to my question earlier. Is compartmentalizing Christianity into “weak, regular and strong, right? Maybe not so if you’re doing it comparing others to condemn them. But I do urge you to ask that question about yourself. Are you growing in your faith walk or have you remained where you’ve always been. Are you still a newborn suckling milk are have you sifted from milk, to medium chewable to hearty food? Genuinely ask yourself that question. Not to prove yourself better than others, rather to personally perfect your faith in Christ.
I don’t know about you but I prefer a steak over milk. Milk had it’s season in my life. Today, I’d much rather a nice steak than a glass of milk. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with milk, but that was simply for a season. So, where are you? Are you still suckling on milk? Are you chewing on milk food or have you gone for the steak? While I don’t like the idea of compartmentalizing Christianity, I do want to stress the importance of growth. Don’t become comfortable in your faith. Growth, like in the physical world is greatly needed in the spiritual.
What is your christianity strength?
Bible reference: 1 Corinthians; Hebrews 5; Hebrews 6; 1 Peter 2