Every Christian has a conviction to be Christ like. Pastors, Evangelist’s and Missionaries preach about it. Bible teachers teach about it. However, how do we apply it in our daily lives? Like anything else, Christlikeness can be subjective or objective. The subjective application is solely based on our opinion, our passion or the things and events, which we hold dear. I don’t mean to imply that subjectivity has no place in being Christ like, but it cannot be an exclusive application either. When subjectivity is defined as Gods calling for our life and our purpose in His will then it becomes more than opinion, it is a Holy calling, gifting and anointing. Then there is objectivity. The objective application may also be called principles, which guide our heart and life. We should never try to read our subjective opinion into a matter which Gods word speaks clearly too.
Being objective is much more difficult and disciplined than being subjective. Understanding this I want to offer a few points that I believe will help all Christians be more Christ like.
Let’s begin with the Christian’s source of authority, our Bible. The Christian can respect many sources, however the Christian can have only one source of that is authoritative, and this must be their Bible. We are told from our Bible that all scripture is given by inspiration. The word inspiration translates the Greek meaning God Breathed. God has spoken through His writers and their work stands as our authority today. To be Christ like is to allow Gods authoritative Word to speak to our hearts and effectively change our lives. For this to happen we must read it as study it and do this often.
To be Christ like is to be motivated to action. This is where our subjectivity becomes tested by godly conviction. Where is God leading you? It’s time for action, time to trust God. If God is truly behind your convictions’ and our motivation comes from His will, man cannot stop it. In addition, neither can you ignore it.
An indicator of godly action will be humility. Humility often gets an incomplete or very wrong definition. Humility is not being a foot mat for others. Humility is putting aside selfish ambition and focusing on the needs of others. Sometimes that will mean we are treated badly. When it happens, remember what Jesus said, pray for and love those who despitefully use you. Humility is something, which can never be fully achieved in our lives, something the Christian works on prayerfully every day.
The Christian cannot stop with understanding what to do and merely repeating that understanding. We are to practice Christlikeness from our heart. We cannot be Christian without having a changed heart. A heart changed through a relationship with Jesus Christ, being born again. Our will then guides our behavior and leads us to continuing repentance as our walk with Christ grows daily.
Why do I mention repentance? Because no one can be, Christ like, all day, every day of his or her lives. The flesh will eventually affect our behavior and the Holy Spirit will convict us to repent. Christlikeness is a daily growth in our relationship with Jesus; this relationship is displayed through our behavior. I learn daily how to be more Christ like, I trust you do too!
I’m going to combine two points in this paragraph, thankfulness and kindness. Both are not only important but also necessary for us to be Christ like. Christ was always thankful to God the Father. The good, bad, ugly, peaceful and event contentious times Christ always met them with thankfulness. We too should pray for a heart of thanksgiving daily. Doing so will make the path easier for kindness. Being truly thankful prepares us to be genuinely kind, not only in our material giving but also in our treatment of others. We will begin by moving away from treating others the way they treat us and start treating them the way we want to be treated.
How does it end? From godly wisdom, we not only know Gods word, will, purpose and conviction for our life but we understand where our life needs to be as the vessel He chose to work through. It ends with Christians being the two greatest commandments. We truly love God with our body, mind and soul and we love others as we love ourselves.
Being Christ like is an awesome challenge presented to us once we are born into the family of God. How we handle it is very important to the Great Commission. Others see Christ through our life, our behavior, our attitude, our decisions and words and manners. Being Christ like is something every Christian should take very seriously and approach it daily in prayer seeking Gods work through our life for the day.
I hope you find blessing, hope and encouragement in this column my prayer is for it to strengthen your relationship with God through His son Jesus Christ.