When I Say I Am A Christian

Christian

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not shouting, “I’ve been saved!”
I’m whispering, “I get lost!
That’s why I chose this way”

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I don’t speak with human pride
I’m confessing that I stumble—
Needing God to be my guide

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not trying to be strong
I’m professing that I’m weak
And pray for strength to carry on

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not bragging of success
I’m admitting that I’ve failed
And cannot ever pay the debt

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I don’t think I know it all
I submit to my confusion
Asking humbly to be taught

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are all too visible
But God believes I’m worth it

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache,
Which is why I seek His name

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I do not wish to judge
I have no authority…
I only know I’m loved

Used by permission
© 1988 Carol Wimmer

You may also listen below to a (less inspired, I believe) musical version of the poem, by Jack Marti.

In my opinion, a much better musical rendition, by George Hartline, can be seen below. However, the words have been somewhat modified, which I think is unfortunate.

Here is how the author explains the genesis of this poem on her website:

My heart was heavy as I wrote the poem, When I say, “I am a Christian.” The year was 1988. I had begun to sense an increasing societal resentment toward the attitude of self-righteousness that has been adopted by so many Christians. I knew such behavior was and is a perversion of Christianity. Thus, the sentiment of the poem was born out of my personal awareness of this perversion and the heartache it can cause in our pluralistic society.

I jotted down my thoughts with an inner determination to define the Christian spirit as I wished to experience it. The resulting words formed a reflection of me and the reputation I hoped to secure for myself. Four years later, I sent the poem to 5 different publishers. As a result of its first publication in 1992, someone placed the poem on the Internet where it miraculously began taking on a life of its own.

From Manila to South Africa; Australia to Singapore; Finland to Bahrain—I’ve received e-mails from people all over the world who express a common desire to walk humbly with God. Therefore, I owe a sincere “Thank You” to the unknown person who originally posted the poem on the Internet and the countless number of readers who have subsequently passed this simple expression on to others.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

2 thoughts on “When I Say I Am A Christian”

  1. Cred ca aerul atot-suficient si, adesea, arogant specific in mare parte evanghelicilor vine dintr-un anumit fel de a intelege iconomia mantuirii – in termenii modernisti ai certitudinii absolute. Nu ca postmodernistii ar fi scutiti de asa ceva, au si ei boalele lor, dar cel putin epistemologia “umila” care o promoveaza, impreuna cu nevoia de relatie, autenticitate si transparenta ar trebui sa-i tina departe de aroganta.

    Like

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