What Defines a Good Christian?

I hear it all the time. Someone is being described to me and they will be labeled as a “good Christian.” It sounds something like this: “You should meet him, he is a good Christian guy,” “She will handle your business well, she is a good Christian woman,” or “That teenager is such a good Christian.”

Every time I hear that description I wonder what people mean by it. How do you define a good Christian?

Is it someone who believes in Jesus?
Is it someone who goes to Church?
Is it someone who serves others in some way?
Is it someone who is truly generous?
Is it someone who is generally nice?

I am not really sure what people mean when they say it.

I think the answer lies in a contrasting lifestyle. Can someone be a lousy Christian? Well … yes, yes they can.

1. Some people who call themselves Christians are counterfeits. There are people who will claim to be Christians who really have no relationships with God. They simply use the name for some type of benefit. For example, this time of year numerous politicians will find religion. They know to get a certain vote they need the proper credentials, even if they are fake.

2. Some people are Christians in name only. There are people who come to Church and might say they believe in Jesus, but you would never see them live it out. They know the right words and the right phrases but have no action to match their words.

3. Some people who call themselves Christians lack transformation. There are people who go to Church and do a few religious activities, but there is something wrong. They never seem to change in any way. They are in the right places but have no real evidence of the effects of being in that place. Even though they attend religious events nothing has changed in their lives.

I think people who are labeled as “good Christians” are people of active faith. They are people who answer my initial question positively. You see their faith in their activities and their words. You see their faith in their name and in their character.

The hard part is that being a good Christian is that it is not a label I can put on myself. I tend to judge myself by my intentions and others by their actions. So in my eyes, of course, I am a good Christian. But the biggest question is not how I see myself, but how other people see me. So that begs the question, “Are you a good Christian?”

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