In his classic work “Mere Christianity” the great British theologian C.S. Lewis asks the question why, if Christianity is true, all Christians are not obviously nicer than all non-Christians? He says that at least in part this is a reasonable question. I think his response deserves to be thought about and prayed about by all of us. “If conversion to Christianity makes no improvement in a man’s outward actions—if he continues to be just as snobbish or spiteful or envious or ambitious as he was before—then I think we must suspect that his ‘conversion’ was largely imaginary; and after one’s original conversion, every time one thinks one has made an advance, that is the test to apply. Fine feeling, new insights, or greater interest in ‘religion’ mean nothing unless they make our actual behavior better; just as in an illness ‘feeling better’ is not much good if the thermometer shows that your temperature is still going up. In that sense the outer world is quite right to judge Christianity by its results. Christ told us to judge by results. A tree is known by its fruit or, as we say, the proof of the
pudding is in the eating. When we Christians behave badly, or fail to behave well, we are making Christianity unbelievable to the outside world.” While it is true, that faith is not simply being a good person, being a good person should be the result of faith. Faith is first of all a loving relationship with the three persons of the Trinity, being thankful for all their gifts and worshipping and adoring them for their goodness to us. But faith then affects what we do. Faith makes us “love our neighbor as ourselves” or it is not truly faith. While none of us lives out our faith perfectly, we must strive always to do so more fully so that we can be witnesses to the world of the love of God.