Are We Half-Baked Christians?
In Hosea 7:8-12, God severely reprimands the tribe of Ephraim. Ephraim had mixed itself with the pagan nations by making alliances with neighbouring nations and importing pagan customs and pagan gods into Israel. Rather than standing out as a model nation of God, Ephraim became like all the other nations. Ephraim compromised God's standards.
Ephraim mixes himself with the peoples; Ephraim is a cake not turned. - Hosea 7:8
In ancient times, flatbreads were baked by placing them in the fire. First on one side, and then the “cake” was turned to cook the other side. Ephraim is compared to a flatbread the baker hadn't turned over, all burnt and black on one side and soggy and runny on the other. Ephraim was “half-baked”, worthless, and not what God intended.
Sometimes I wonder if God sees us as half-baked Christians, unbalanced in our religious experience. What is a half-baked Christian?
A Christian who spends a lot of time studying God's word but seldom applies it.
A Christian who claims to trust God but, when trouble comes, goes to others instead of God.
A Christian who's more concerned with pleasing people than God.
A Christian who claims to love God but treats employees and domestic helpers unjustly.
A Christian who raises his/her child to have excellent school results but neglects to mentor the child to have Christian values.
Half-baked Christians are those who, while professing great zeal for one aspect of the truth or another, are ungracious and unkind in their own homes, and toward others. Too many half-baked Christians are one of the reasons people reject Jesus Christ. It's dangerous to be a half-baked Christian.
Christians are walking Bibles. God speaks to the world through Christians. We live out the Bible through our behaviour, speech and action. If nobody can tell that you are a Christian by your behaviour, speech and action at your job, school or college, you are probably a half-baked Christian. If we are half-baked Christians, we are useless to God.
Strangers devour his strength, and he knows it not; grey hairs are sprinkled upon him, and he knows it not. - Hosea 7:9
In verse 9, foreign alliances sapped Ephraim's strength rather than added to it, but the Israelites were ignorant. Israel was unaware of its real condition, just like when a person's hair becomes grey with time, but he does not notice it.
When one of my colleagues finally had a cataract operation, she was so happy that everything was crystal clear. It was like she got a new lease on life. But when she looked in the mirror, she saw all the spots and wrinkles. She was also shocked at how grey her hair had turned. Her poor eyesight blinded her to who she really was.
We'll become spiritually blind if we keep living a half-baked Christian life, and we won't see how we're falling further and further from God's sight.
If I've been a half-baked Christian, turn me around! I do not wish to do anything out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. I want to walk in humility, considering others better than myself, so that I will not cause others to reject knowing you because of my doublemindedness. Lord, please wash my hands and purify my heart. Should I slip back into my old ways, may the Holy Spirit make sure I am not left unturned. I receive Your love, mercy, and grace in humility.
In Jesus' name I pray.