On the Jan. 7 Portland Press Herald Religion & Values page (B8), Tribune News Service reporter Lesley Clark highlighted the fact that 91 percent of our congressional representatives and 71 percent of Americans identify themselves as Christian. Yet Clark noted that the share of Americans identifying themselves as Christians is declining.

Why is that? Is it possible that many of us profess to be Christians but fail to understand the personal sacrifice required to live the true meaning of the Gospel?

When Jesus said that the road was narrow and difficult, He knew full well that our struggles with unselfishly treating others as we would want to be treated was a tremendous obstacle to living a Christian life.

Recent governmental efforts to deal with repealing the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), entitlement programs for those being left behind in our economy and our commitment to provide refugees a safe haven are showing us that we are far from practicing Jesus’ Gospel message. When we are willing to let children go hungry, to let those needing medical care fend for themselves and to let our failure to provide welcome and safety to the stranger go unaddressed, we show a lack of the Christian love Jesus called us to.

Our duty to lead a Christian life requires actively striving to love and serve others as we would want to be treated. We can do that now by loudly speaking out and working to ensure that all levels of government follow core Christian values in governing. Jesus’ measure of how well we lived a Christian life is found in Matthew 25:31-46. To get an A-plus is our life’s mission.

Gandhi was once asked why he wasn’t a Christian. Reportedly, his sobering reply was, “I will become a Christian when I meet one.” Don’t we all wish to be that one!

Richard “Dick” Boislard