Years ago I heard a wonderful illustration of what it means to be “real.” Here goes: There are three types of Christians. First, there’s the TOP-OF-THE-PILE Christian. You have seen these folks. You ask them “How are you doing?” and away they go: “Top of the pile! Movin’ and groovin’ with Jesus. Growin’ and glowin’ in Him.” Really? All the time? You can’t be that way all the time, it is not realistic.
Second, there is the BOTTOM-OF-THE-PILE Christian. Ask them how they are doing and you always get the same answer, “Bottom of the pile. Carryin’ a great burden. Pray that I will somehow just manage to hold out faithful to the end. And, by the way, wouldn’t you like to be a Christian too?” That is not a successful approach to evangelism.
Third, there is another way to approach the Christian life. It is not the TOP-OF-THE-PILE all the time or the BOTTOM-OF-THE-PILE all the time that makes us faithful. Ask this person how they are doing and they respond, “Just MOVING-THROUGH-THE-PILES.” If you grew up on a farm, you understand this illustration. The meaning: I am doing the next thing that needs to be done, and I am doing it to the Glory of God. That is called faithfulness.
Copyright © Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.