A professional Christian is a professed believer in Jesus Christ
who has traded form for substance, inward faith for outward image,
and passion for polished professional religion.
The professional Christian can speak Christianese fluently,
such as Amen, Bless God, and Praise the Lord,
no matter what the state of their heart.
Jesus spoke to broken hearts.
The professional Christian maintains a cool collective demeanor
except when at certain well rehearsed placed in church services,
he smiles, laughs, or shouts "Amen" as if on autopilot.
The professional Christian tithes to the exact tenth of his increase
and then binds God to bless him "or else."
Jesus gave freely.
The professional Christian will send a check to help the poor and needy
but not go himself - it's not his ministry.
Jesus lovingly touched unclean lepers with His bare hand.
The professional Christian avoids the appearances of evil
lest "God's" image be tarnished.
Jesus let prostitutes weep at His feet
and was known for being a friend to sinners.
The professional Christian pursues movements
and well known ministries coveting the title "ministry partner."
Jesus pursued lost sheep.
The professional Christian sees tragedy strike
and knows with a shaking head that God's judgments are just.
Jesus was moved with compassion.
The professional Christian has a certain religious look, hair, and confident swagger
- after all, King's kids should have the best of everything.
Jesus hung naked and unashamed before the world.
The professional Christian makes church clubs
where anyone meeting their social, economic,
and educational standard are welcome.
Jesus promised that His Father would freely give
His kingdom to anyone who believed in Him.
The professional Christian loves other professionals
and greets them at church services with big bear hugs,
provided they aren't too annoying, don't sing off key,
and use generous amounts of deodorant.
Jesus loved the hurting outcasts who had no proper place to bathe.
The professional Christian drives the latest car, wears the latest fashions,
and the best watch. I mean, Jesus already paid the price of sacrifice already, right?
Jesus usually walked, lost his clothes to gambling soldiers,
and well, songwriter Ray Stevens answered the watch dilemma - no Rolex.
The professional Christian can quote every prosperity verse in the Bible,
unencumbered by context and condition.
Jesus knew the moment by moment heart of the Father.
The professional Christian has the formulas down:
the seven steps to great sex in marriage,
the three keys to victory,
the nine reasons God wants him rich.
Jesus retreated to solitary places
and often spent whole nights in prayer to know the Father's will.
The professional Christian loves the world,
the things of the world, and wants the world to love him, too.
He calls it, "Covenant Blessing."
Jesus calls it compromise.
The professional Christian has a form of godliness
but denies the power of it.
Jesus will tell him, "Depart, for I never knew you."
May God deliver us from our willing love of darkness
so that godly sorrow will work true repentance into our hearts.
May we love the Light of the world as He reproves
and exposes corruption in us calling us to a new life
and sweet freedom in Christ.
Bryan Hupperts, a former professional Christian
(with Thanks to Dr. Harvey Brown - Evangelist of Impact Ministries)