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EXPLORATION 1 Meaning of “Christian”

We are hardwired with a desire for “something more.” We’re born with it, and it never dies. Ancient Christians called it heart’s desire. Saint Augustine wrote: “There is a God-shaped vacuum in every person that only Christ can fill.”

The Christian life begins with heart’s desire, an invitation to a life infused and enlivened by Jesus, resulting in fruitfulness and irrepressible joy (John 15:1-11).

Surprisingly, Christianity is not an invitation to simply “believe in Jesus” or “surrender our lives to him.”

It is not an invitation to join a church or participate in religious activities.

Christianity is not an invitation to become a moral person, live righteously, or fulfill spiritual obligations and duties.

It’s not an invitation to reform society through good works, charitable acts, or political action.

These are always the aftereffect of a transforming friendship with Jesus rather than the object of faith itself.

One of the great heresies of contemporary Christianity is defining a “Christian” as one who believes in God, goes to church, is a good person, and does good things for others.

Somehow we forgot the invitation to a transforming friendship. Our spiritual restlessness and frustration is simply our heart’s desire searching for something more.


Thoughtfully describe your experience of heart’s desire and your spiritual journey.