One question that every Christian gets asked at least once in their life is “what is a Christian?” The simple answer is an individual who has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The term Christian once meant little Christ but today, it is a term that categorizes people into a certain group and may have nothing to do with a person’s individual belief system and/or lifestyle.
Now that we know what a Christian is, is there a certain blueprint for how a Christian is to look? That is, if you look at a person, are you able to determine if that person is a Christian or not? This is not as easy to answer because, honestly, there is no real blueprint for how a Christian is to look. There are many men who look scrubby and rough with long hair and a beard, maybe tattoos, and other features that many do not consider to be Godly but their testimony is real.
The same is true for women. There are many women who do not fit into that box of what a typical Christian woman is. Maybe their hair is not as long or they have some rough spots, maybe tattoos, and/or they do not dress in gowns and skirts but just like their male counterparts, many of these women have a real testimony. These testimonies are significant and tell a real story-one about a relationship with Jesus Christ-many of which will leave their ideal Christian images in awe.
Think about John the Baptist and how the man looked. Sure, he didn’t have tattoos but there are reasons to believe that John the Baptist had long hair. He ate locusts and honey and dressed in camel’s hair: “And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey” (John 3:4). John the Baptist was sincere about preaching the Word of God and not focused on the pleasures of this world so it’s probably not a surprise that John, the man who baptized Christ, was not worried about his physical appearances.
In reference to John, let’s think about the Samaritan woman in the Chapter 4 of the Book of John. She is unnamed but her name is not what is important. This woman is deemed as immoral because of the way she lived. She was known to sleep with many men and was in an openly situation with her sixth man so she was ostracized from the community. This was not something that was acceptable during this period of time and one day at Jacob’s well, Christ had a conversation with this woman while she was retrieving water at this location. She came to the well alone which was one more indication that she was not received by her own people,
Although she was not received by her people or others, this did not prevent Christ from receiving her. In fact, Christ told this woman “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14). This was a very interesting conversation as the woman told Christ “The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things” to which “Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he” (John 4:25-26).
This is a very important chapter to all Christians as this conversation teaches us much. Jesus says: “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24). From all of this, we learn that what makes a Christian is an individual’s desire to worship Christ rather than how a person physically looks or even what others think of them and I am thankful for this as there are many people who think the worse of me but salvation is not through them but Christ.
Another important part about this conversation is that we learn that our testimony is what stands out most. Our testimony is what stands above what we look like or the clothes we wear or the car we drive or the house we live in. In fact, our testimony is the only thing that we have to offer to people. In terms of us as Christians, we are witnesses for Christ and it is our testimony that lets others see Christ and we see this from the woman at the well with her actions and words and this is still as true today and the Give Your Witness Ministry is dedicated and committed to giving our witness, our testimony, to the world.
The unnamed woman, in many ways, is a representation of each of us. While this was a real event, we can learn that while we do fall short of God’s glory, we are forgiven. We are given mercy and forgiveness and because of everything Christ has done, we are able to have eternal life despite how we look: “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world” (John 4:39-42).