Reach • Devotion #4: Gandhi’s non-Testimony

Mahatma Gandhi has been quoted as having said, “Carefully watch your thoughts, for they become your words. Manage and watch your words, for they will become your actions. Consider and judge your actions, for they have become your habits. Acknowledge and watch your habits, for they shall become your values. Understand and embrace your values, for they become your destiny.” It is great advice, but I have always wondered about Gandhi’s destiny.

Heritage Baptist Church (Waxahachie, Texas) posted an article about Gandhi’s spiritual journey. It said that missionary E. Stanley Jones once met with Gandhi. Jones asked Gandhi, “Mr. Gandhi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming His follower?”

Gandhi replied, “Oh, I don’t reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

It appears that when Gandhi was practicing law in South Africa, he appreciated the teachings of Jesus and decided to attend Church. He had seriously considered becoming a Christian, but an elder of the Church refused for him to enter the building. The elder said, “There’s no room for Kaffirs [an insulting term for a black African] in this church. Get out of here, or I’ll have my assistants throw you down the steps.” Gandhi turned away, physically and spiritually. 

Gandhi, a Hindu, admired Jesus and often quoted from the Sermon on the Mount. He lived a good life and was a good example of humility. Hopefully, he was able to look past “Christians” and see Jesus for who He truly is and what He did for us.

I do not know Gandhi’s destiny, but I know no one is able to earn it. It is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23) that is not based on morality. Romans 10:9 gives us what defines a Christian, “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

We, as Christians, need to be reminded that our lives might be the only Bible some people read.

Most people know John 3:16. It is interesting to grasp 1 John 3:16, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
God loves us and expects us to love Him. One way to show Him love is to love others. As Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

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