The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Checklist: Christianity

For readers who have followed me consistently all semester, you know that I love lists. When I started writing at the beginning of this semester, using a list helped me to organize my thoughts.

And, if you happen to know me on any personal level, you also know that my life is meticulously organized and sometimes even compartmentalized with lists, calendars, agendas, note cards, etc.

While enjoying some family time about three weeks ago, this current article began its formation. A vacation from SMU always allows me opportunity to gain some perspective on my life. (My current life rating is about an 8.5. A 9 would probably be having more of my schoolwork done on time and being able to spend more time with my friends.) In my quiet time, I had a mental conversation with myself – was I sometimes check-listing the most important thing in my life – my relationship with God?

I am a Christian. By this, I mean that I believe in the Christian doctrine and try to live out my life with this perspective. This article is not an attempt to convert you. For current Christians, I am challenging you to think about what it means to be a Christian. For people of other faiths, I am also challenging you to think about what it means to be a follower of that faith. I am addressing the sometimes hypocritical lifestyles and attitudes we have.

I’m not a very theological kind of guy. Yet, I do wonder what it means to be a follower of Christ. To provide some context of my beliefs, I believe that there is a heaven and a hell and I am not saved by my own works, but redeemed through Christ’s death and resurrection. His perfect sacrifice freed us from our sins – the ultimate act of love. So, I believe that a life well-lived is one that glorifies God. The exciting, wonderful thing about my experience with Christianity is the overwhelming knowledge that I pursue a personal relationship with Christ. Knowing this, I wondered if I was getting in the way of what God truly has in store for my life. Is my agenda distracting and diluting my ability to be a witness? We are talking about trying to live a very self-less life (Romans 12, Luke 17:33).

In this generation of customization and personal preference, I am afraid that churches have packaged the Christian faith into something much more digestible, but not necessarily life-changing. By watering down the commitment level of the Christian faith, I fear that we lose the heart of the gospel. What I’m saying is, completing a checklist of “how to act as a Christian” cannot and will not make you a better Christian. In fact, you may be missing the whole point!

In these last four plus years, I have learned a few things:

God is always at work around me and even pursues a loving relationship with me that is both real and personal.

I am not entitled, but invited to participate in His greater work through my faith and actions.

Because I am human and fallible, I have a lot I must sacrifice and adjust in order to be in line with His will.

Through my daily experiences, God reveals Himself to me.

Christ set the ultimate example of how to act in life: love.

Christianity centers on love – this should change the way I treat myself and others, both in my local and global community.

Going to church on Sunday and attending a campus ministry weekly falls short of the kind of passionate pursuit I desire. Simply going through the motions and acting like a Christian is not enough. I am realizing more clearly that my relationship with Christ complements the rest of my life. I should find joy in my studies, my work, and my fun as a result of this.

Dear wonderful readers,

I want to be more authentic: to God, my family, my friends and myself. Trust me, this was not an easy article to write. I have simply realized that if the most important thing in my life (this relationship with Christ) is not truly lived out and shared, than how important is it?

So what? I continually realize that mental checklists prevents me from truly experiencing the relationship that is the foundation of Christianity. It prevents me from enjoying the spur of the moment experiences that God places into my daily life.

To my fellow Christian brothers and sisters, how are you living out Christ in your life? What does it mean to be a Christian? How are you pursuing God – more importantly, are you letting God pursue you or are you shortchanging Him?

To my other readers, thanks for the opportunity to hear my thoughts and feelings. I’d love your feedback as well.

Daniel Liu is a graduate engineering management student. He can be reached for comment at [email protected].

More to Discover