Television has changed things. It used to be that you could recognize a person from the South by his dragging enunciation, or a person from the North by his clipped inflections. Television has made it so that we mostly sound alike. It is true, however, that we recognize people and their character because of what we see or observe about them. All persons have distinguishing characteristics. Some people are easily recognized by their voice, some by the way they dress, by their use of the language, by their physical characteristics. You can tell quite a lot about a person just by observation.
You can tell a lot about a man’s religion by some of the things you observe when he’s around. If he’s truly a Christian, there will be signs of that fact in almost every area of his life. His every activity will be an under-lining of his faith, a manifestation of his devotion to God, a sure indication of his determination to let the light of his faith shine, no matter where he is. Fact is, it’s easy to spot a Christian:
By his language. There is at once a noticeable difference between the language of a Christian and that of the worldly-minded person. The real Christian knows it to be sinful to take the name of the Lord in vain. He is not inclined to use terms and phrases intended to provoke toward lust or licentiousness. He knows that a person who professes to be a Christian and uses filthy language is showing the world that his religion really doesn’t mean very much to him. It should be obvious to all concerned how foolish it is to “….bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.” And just how hypocritical it is when “out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing.” It is certainly so that “brethren, these things ought not to be.” The true child of God will watch his language and “speak as the oracles of God” (See James 3:9-10; I Peter 4:11).
By his professions. The true Christian is in no way ashamed of His Lord nor of the gospel he follows. When asked about the course he follows and the hope he professes, he is always “ready to give an answer…” (I Peter 3:15), for he has sanctified Christ as Lord in his heart. When he is asked by someone why the church of Christ does what it does or teaches what it teaches, he is quick to point out that “the way of man is not in himself,” that he is to “seek the old paths.” He will defend the gospel, but with loving concern for the inquisitor. He will tell the whole truth and will in no way water down the message of the risen Savior. All this he does, considering himself, “let ye also be tempted,” and remembering all the while that “love covers a multitude of sins” (See Jeremiah 6:16; 10:23; Galatians 6:1).
By the way he lives. The Christian’s interests differ from those of his companions in the world. You won’t find him continually parked in front of the computer screen, the iPhone or his television set day after day, night after night. He may be visiting the sick or teaching a class or helping someone in some other way. Now that is not to say all these things are considered by him to be wrong or sinful; it merely says he uses them in moderation. Facebook does not take the place of facing up to his responsibilities as a child of God. He is more interested in others than I-considerations. He is more interested in eternal life than e-mails. Bible study is part of who and what he is, for he knows his study is necessary to “be approved of God..” The good Christian attends funerals, helps elderly people with their needs, you may even see a tear in his eye when the little people sing Jesus Loves Me. This person will pay his bills, do his part even when it’s inconvenient, stop at stop signs, obey the rules of the game, love his wife, teach his children, and “forsake not” the assemblies of the saints. He knows he’s not perfect, but he will make periodic self-examinations in order that he might become better tomorrow than he was today. (See Galatians 6:1-10).
By where he’s headed. He realizes full well that it’s not what’s here than is his goal, but what is there. He is constantly seeking “those things which are above,” is working to present his body a living sacrifice while here, but is all the while realizing that his “citizenship is in heaven,” from whence will come the Savior to change his “vile body, that it might be fashioned according to His glorious body…” (See Colossians 3:1-3; Philippians 3:20-21).
Yes, you can spot him. He’s like a city set on a hill, or a light on a stand. And you can tell–he is headed somewhere, and it ain’t here.