On a recent trip to Cuba, our tour group was told repeatedly that Cubans aren’t much interested in religion. While this may not be true, it caused me to reflect: How are Christians different from atheists or agnostics?
The apostle Paul reminds us that good works and caring conduct must be expressions of our faith. But humanitarians also do good and serve others; other people demonstrate integrity, humility or kindness without attributing that to faith in God. So, how are we different?
Perhaps it’s less in what we do and more in what is important to us.
We believe that all are created in the image of God. Thus, all have the spirit of God in us. As Anabaptist Christians we further believe that we have forgiveness for all our wrong-doing and the miseries that causes, as long as we repent with sincerity. Through Christ we have “abundant life”: joy in our hearts; love and respect for all creation; confidence that God is with us in our hardships; peace in spite of things going wrong; hope in good futures; and a desire to express God’s goodness to us through love for our neighbors, strangers, and even enemies.
I believe that what should distinguish us most is our attitude to life: joy over what God has already done and provided; confidence that all will be well; and out of these, loving service to others.