Should Christians be judged more harshly for rude behavior?

Shane mused (recently) about the value of having Christian bumper stickers on one’s car – and there was something he said that got my brain going in a slightly different direction. Shane observed:

“With others you just see a disconnect with what is on the car and conduct while driving the car. Nice seeing somebody with a Christian bumper sticker cut someone off driving or speeding or just lousy driving in general.”

So here’s my thought-provoking question of the day: when someone identifies themselves in some way as a Christian, do you automatically hold them to a higher standard of behavior in society, and by extension, react with a sense of betrayal when they fail to meet those higher standard?

For example, is “lousy driving” really un-Christian? Is it reasonable to chastise the driver of an Icthus-bearing car more for driving rudely than we would the driver of an “unmarked” vehicle?

How about customer-unfriendly business practices? I know a business owner who purports to be a Christian, even promotes his business in Christian business directories, and talks in everyday conversation about his faith and Christian lifestyle. Yet, he has sometimes conducted his business in ways that knowingly cheated customers. And yes, I find myself more disappointed in him when he allows these things to happen than I am when other business people behave this way.

Is that fair? Does acceptance of Christ automatically mean that you set yourself up to be judged more harshly by society when you make a mistake or exhibit rude or negligent behavior?

Finally – I didn’t want to leave this comment on Shane’s blog because he really was trying to make a serious point. But I have to admit, his mention of the humorous variety of Christian bumper stickers reminded me about one my all-time favorite keychains. It had a psychedelic background and in bold lettering said, “Jesus is coming – Look busy!” (Lord I apologize…)

Editor’s note: This article originally was originally published in November, 2008 on my now-defunct blog, DMweblife.com. It is referenced in the comments of Shane’s original post.

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