Are we living out our lives or are we putting on an act? Good question. I had thought about this very thing when I first came to Christ. Unfortunately, I didn't have much discipleship at the age of 17, and came to some very strange conclusions.
My first encounter with this was when I came to Christ and wanted to share the Gospel with others. I didn't really know how to do that, but my heart was right. I shared what little I knew about the Gospel, and encountered objections I had no idea even existed.
So, that brings me to the question of 'how should I act around these lost people that I want to share the Gospel with'? I concluded that I had to be careful of everything I said and did, for I wanted to portray whatever a Christian was supposed to look like. Should I reject a glass of wine with the family? Should I rebuke whatever comes on the television set? Should I say certain things that will make me look like a Christian? What should I do? How should this be different than my everyday life?
The answer to the first question lies in the last question of the last paragraph. I should act just like I do every day. I don't need to put on an act. I don't need to be something I am not. The reason I found it so confusing was because I didn't realize that being a Christian was not something you put on when other people are around. It is a life to be lived alone or around other people by the power of God, controlled by the love of God. We don't have to put on an act to make ourselves look more 'Christian' when others are around.
The Bible talks about Christians as being 'conformed to the image of Christ'. That is what the world needs to see. The Bible also talks about being controlled by the love of Christ. A mark of a true Christian is love. Not the kind of love the world has though. It is a sacrificial love. It is different from the world. That is how people are going to know we are true believers in Jesus Christ. That is the mark that separates us from everyone else.