No matter how deep a person’s faith, we all make mistakes sometimes. But, when a person’s actions don’t match their proclamation of faith more than they do match, it can be very hard to believe they are truly Christians. In praying about this topic, God showed me some very interesting things.
A person truly can be born again, yet not act the part sometimes. They can trust in the Gospel message, yet not trust that God wants to help them in their day to day life.
This can happen with someone who has serious health issues. I once belonged to a traumatic brain injury support group online. I wasn’t in the group long, because I noticed many members were intensely selfish, even ones who claimed to be Christians. They weren’t obviously out to use & abuse other people like narcissists are, but clearly if something wasn’t about them, they weren’t interested.
Christians also may not behave like Christians if they have a distrust of parent figures. When a person was raised by at least one narcissistic parent, they most likely have a deep fear of all parental figures. When you grew up with parents who were not only unsafe, but blatantly cruel & had no concern for your own needs, you will not trust God to be the loving father He claims to be in the Bible.
Both of these issues can make even a Christian behave badly, & they both boil down to fear.
Whether someone is sick, handicapped or raised by abusive parents, their core issue with God is they don’t trust Him. When a person has serious health problems, they become self absorbed. They suddenly have to consider their needs often & have to rely on other people to meet certain needs for the first time. It can be very easy to become afraid of these needs not being met.
Or, they may feel that their earthly mother or father didn’t care about their needs, so why would anyone, even their Heavenly Father? After all, He’s a parent & parents are selfish & don’t care about their children. They fear others not being there for them or loving them, & often don’t even realize they feel this way.
When not confronted, fear can open the door for the spirit of fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 in the Amplified Bible states, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].” Considering this verse gave me some insight into why some professing Christians don’t act like Christians. They function with a spirit of fear.
I noticed after surviving carbon monoxide poisoning I was heading in this direction. I had no idea what to expect from my health, thanks to the doctors giving me no information. I also realized quickly that I had brain damage. I had to learn quickly what was happening. The more I learned, the more afraid I got. The more afraid I got, the more selfish I got & the more afraid I got & the cycle continued. Thankfully joining the TBI support group I mentioned previously made me realize how I felt, & how that was not how I wanted to be. I spent more time in prayer, got closer to God & changed my ways. I also learned to accept & work with my health issues.
Maybe you know someone in a similar position. Someone operating with a spirit of fear can be incredibly painful to deal with, I know, but before you end the relationship, please consider what I have said. Talk to the person. Maybe they will see the problem & make appropriate changes. If not, they may be too consumed with this spirit of fear. Pray for them, asking God to free them from this spirit. Reassure the person you love them & are there for them. Granted, some people are too comfortable in their dysfunction to want change. Some folks are also narcissists who refuse to change. But, the average Christian person who is gripped by fear may respond very well. Give it a try! You can help them & also your relationship with that person.