A man went to the village.
He was an evangelist, going to visit a UPG (unreached people group) in the outskirts of a third world country. He’d come alone as an outsider to the UPGs, but not to the country.
Growing up in the country, he’d first learned about Jesus and salvation via a small radio in his hometown. Once he became a Christian, he would stop at nothing to spread the good news farther. He worked hard and eventually graduated from a seminary and instantly moved back to his country to share his beloved faith with people who hadn’t heard. . .yet.
Coming into the village early in the afternoon, he was greeted by the village leader. Unfortunately, a scowl, not a smile, met him.
“We do not want your kind here,” the leader growled at the evangelist.
Surprised and taken aback, the evangelist asked simply- “I’m sorry?”
“We know your kind. You are a Christian, yes?”
The eager evangelist nodded in confusion.
“Another man who claimed to be a Christian came to us a year ago,” the leader explained warily. “He taught us about love and Jesus.”
The evangelist nodded again, this time excited that his faith had preceded him.
“But then he lied to us. He cheated us. He stole from us,” the leader’s eyes narrowed. “He told us how to act, in love and kindness, but he did not do the same.”
The evangelist’s face fell at an all too familiar story of a hypocrite.
“We do not want anything to do with your kind,” the leader finished firmly.
The evangelist nodded slowly. “Very well then,” he sighed. “I will not bother you by even staying the night.”
The leader looked confused but didn’t argue.
“But please, as I am going on to the other villages, might I take a chicken with me?” The evangelist pointed time the many little creatures that were scurrying around as the men talked. “The other villages have never grown chickens before and have never seen them. I would like to show them what chickens are. I would be willing to buy one from you.”
The leader’s expression went from suspicious to proud. “Of course!” He beamed proudly. “You may even take one for free,” he spread out his hand to the large flock.
The evangelist smiled and went through the chickens as the leader and the villagers watched. He picked through them meticulously, until he’d picked the perfect chicken.
“Aha!” He nodded firmly. “Thank you, leader, for your generosity. I shall be on my way now.”
“Wait!” The leader stopped him. “Why must you choose that one?”
The chicken that the evangelist had chosen was small. Small, sickly, and barely alive. It peered at the world through its beady little eyes.
“Because,” the evangelist explained. “I want to get a chicken to show everyone else. Perhaps they will even be willing to trade for more when they see this one.”
The leader shook his head aghast. To have all the surrounding villages see this sickly chicken and think it represented all of their chickens? The horror.
“No, please take a healthier one! A bigger one, a cleaner one, a pretty one!” The leader urged. “The one ill chicken does not represent all the chickens we have!”
The evangelist tilted his head and set down the chicken. “And so the one unhealthy Christian does not represent all of Christians not all of Christianity.”
My father used to tell that story a lot. I thought about it the other day when someone mentioned how easily it is for people in general to be judgemental.
I think people forget that everyone is different, and that everyone is subjective. Christians are human too.
When one becomes a Christian, there’s not some supernatural transformation that leaves us being perfect angels (don’t we wish though *laughs*). Becoming a Christian doesn’t make us “good” or any better than anyone else. It just means we’ve dedicated ourself to Christ and to striving to be more like Him.
So just like Christians oughtn’t judge others, Christians oughtn’t be judged themselves. We’re not perfect. We’ll never be perfect.
All we can do is try to be more like Christ-
Who is perfect.