“The proof is in the pudding.” This idiom that dates back to the 1920’s came into common use in the 1950’s. It is a shortened version of a proverb that says, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” In various forms, this proverb dates back to the 14th century. The meaning of this proverb is that in order to know that something is good, one has to try it first. In the case of the pudding, we don’t need proof that it is pudding, but rather if it is good pudding. The only way to know that is by tasting the pudding.
When we are followers of Christ, we call ourselves Christians. But what is the evidence that we are, in fact, true followers of Christ. We can call ourselves Christian, but what is the proof? Perhaps we call ourselves Christians because we believe in God and we believe that Jesus died for us and rose from the dead. Those things are necessary, but does that prove we are Christians? Perhaps we say we are Christians because we go to church every Sunday. Going to church is important but going to church doesn’t make us Christians any more than going to McDonald’s makes us a hamburger. So, what is the proof that we are Christians?
Being a Christian means that we strive to be Christ-like. We strive to live a life that allows Him to be seen through us. How can we do this? How can the world see without a doubt that we are what we say we are? First and foremost, the world will see we are Christians if we love each other (John 13:35). Jesus demonstrated His love for us by giving His life for us. We need to have that kind of love for each other, a love that knows no bounds, a love that is willing to give all for others (John 15:13).
The world will also see that we are Christians if we have the mind of Christ. What does that mean? We have the mind of Christ when we demonstrate unity with each other. We must all have the same mindset and the same love (Philippians 2:2). We must demonstrate humility, not by doing things out of selfish ambition or out of conceit, but rather by counting the needs and interests of others as more important than our own needs (Philippians 2:3-4).
Being a Christian means dying to oneself and living for Christ. The world needs Christ. It needs to see Christ in us. We must reflect Him in the way we live our lives and the way we treat others. The proof of the pudding may be in the eating, but the proof of the Christian is in the living.