Home Pastors Articles for Pastors Scratch a Christian and You'll Find Out What's Really Underneath

Scratch a Christian and You'll Find Out What's Really Underneath

While most of my blog posts are for Christians in ministry, this one is especially so … and I believe God has put it on my heart to share it. Thus, I’m not going to ignore the still, small voice, even though it would be more convenient to do so.

I’ve been following the Lord for over 30 years, and I’ve made an observation that I hear few people talk about today.

It can be summed up by this sentence: Scratch a Christian and you’ll find out what’s underneath.

Gifted communicators are a dime a dozen.

But when a Christian “leader” is scratched and they react in the flesh, then their “leadership” isn’t worth a toot on a tin whistle.

By contrast, Christian leaders who have been sufficiently broken before God wherein they are unoffendable … Christian leaders who respond gently when criticized … Christian leaders who react with grace if someone corrects them …  Christians who don’t return evil for evil, even when persecuted or mistreated … are rarer than chicken molars.

By contrast, Christian “leaders” who will defend themselves at the drop of a hat and attack those who cross them (intentionally or unwittingly) are countless.

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. 

I was speaking at a conference once with a group of other speakers. When the conference was over, some of us who ministered had lunch together.

One of the speakers, a well-known pastor, was upset. So he began to share with us a letter he received from one of his congregants.

He rehearsed the letter to us. It was written by a woman who had brought a gentle word of correction to him. She had been trying to reach this pastor about something important to her and she was puzzled why he didn’t respond to her for a long period of time, despite her many attempts to get him to respond.

Instead of owning the problem, the pastor threw his chest out and told us how wrong this woman was for expecting him to respond to her when she wanted.

He essentially went ballistic on this woman. He wrote a letter to her in which he defended himself. His letter was laced with snide comments as part of his defense. He was, in effect, “putting her in her place.”

This only proved one thing. Although this man could speak well in front of an audience, he knew nothing of the cross of Jesus Christ.

He knew nothing of brokenness.

He knew nothing about losing.

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FRANK VIOLA has helped thousands of people around the world to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and enter into a more vibrant and authentic experience of church. His mission is to help serious followers of Jesus know their Lord more deeply, gain fresh perspectives on old or ignored subjects, and make the Bible come alive. Viola has written many books on these themes, including God's Favorite Place on Earth and From Eternity to Here. His blog, Beyond Evangelical, is rated as one of the most popular in Christian circles today.