Today marks the first of thirty days of Ramadan and practicing Muslims will show their love for God by fasting those thirty days during daylight hours. I admire and respect this practice, especially knowing how hard it is to deprive myself of food and water for a couple of hours much less a whole day.
We followers of Jesus can learn something from this practice of devotion.
One of my favorite foods is the delicious Chick-Fil-A sandwich. Yes, the Classic Sandwich has 440 calories and 16 grams of fat, but it’s incredibly tasty, especially paired with a large sweet tea and waffle fries. I love how Chick-Fil-A staffers say, “My pleasure” several times as I order. I love that they are closed on Sundays. This is how the Cathy family and their employees show their love for God.
I don’t love this – their stand on marriage equality. But they have every right to take this stand.I believe they have the right to donate money to organizations they support.
But also I believe that I have a duty to fast from all Chick Fil A foods as a faithful response. As lame as it sounds – compared to people of faith refraining from all food and drink during daylight hours – I will be refraining from Chick Fil A for what could perhaps be the rest of my life, depending on their ongoing activities re: marriage.
People who self-identify as Christian are often indistinguishable from people who do not. Christians and non-Christians alike often live the same way. We/They eat too much, drive too fast, cheat on taxes, yell at ball games, tell lies, share gossip, and spend money in the same ways. The divorce rate among Christians is at least as high as that of non-Christians.
The average person, perhaps, can’t tell if we are followers of Jesus or not.
I love that faithful Muslims live out their faith by fasting for a month each year. This is not merely a spiritual sign; it’s a visible sign to the world.
The Cathy Family lives out their faith by requiring that their restaurants be closed on the Christian Sabbath and by sharing their wealth with organizations that support their values.
What are we doing that expresses our devotion to God to the point of sacrifice?
Do I love God enough to give up chicken sandwiches? I hope so.
Note: These other companies are known for expressing their religious faith.