“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Let me begin by stating that often the things I write on are things that are weighing heavily on my heart. I have either recently had some experience with it, or need to improve in it. This is definitely the latter. To be completely honest, I find myself being more friendly and encouraging I am surrounded by other devoted Christians. For example, when I am at my bible study or at church I feel that I am always making an effort to be considerate and helpful. I have noticed that in these situations I am more likely to look for opportunities to serve or lend an ear. But when I am at my university I generally just finish my classes and go home. I’m not necessarily “cold” towards anyone, but I’m not very “warm” either. And I can’t help but feel that I am not fully doing my part.
There are so many opportunities I miss by not stepping outside of my comfort zone to be a light. I know that if Christ was in my place he would take every chance he could find to be kind to others. Unfortunately, I seem to only be reaching my full potential when I’m with a bunch of people who are already saved! Of course that’s important as well but I feel that I know I am capable of so much more.
I previously thought that the only way to help others get “saved” is to have them at church or read the bible with them and explain my beliefs or share my testimony. But its so much more than that. Often, a genuine friendship can plant a seed, which leads to more discussion or an accepted invitation to church. By reading the bible, we have so much scripture that tells us the characteristics of Christ. With this we can strive to improve and shape ourselves into these people. By doing so, we can form quality friendships and be consistent in and outside of church. These values and characteristics can be adapted at any age or stage of your walk in faith and can be applied to any situation.
Personally, I need to work on being more open and personable while at school as I said before. Keeping to myself may allow me to leave school quicker, but is it helping me be a “fisher of men”? Of course, everyone’s situation is different. Maybe at work you tend to get very overwhelmed easily and overreact when someone makes a mistake. You can apply Ephesians 4:32 by being forgiving and understanding in these situations, just as Jesus has forgiven you for your sins. Maybe your sibling or friend is being bullied and you feel that you don’t have the right words to say, so you stay quiet. In this situation you could be compassionate simply by being there for them or letting a parent or teacher know what is going on. Maybe when you go to the grocery store you always see a homeless person sitting on the curb with a sign asking for help. You could continue driving as usual, or stop and offer a kind word or pray with them.These are all hypothetical situations, but I hope that it has helped you do some personal reflections. I challenge you to join me in taking small steps to go outside of our comfort zones more often and be better Christians.
I believe that there is always room to improve and grow in our faith. I would love to hear how you plan on taking your walk with Christ to a new level. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to being “like Christ”? Please comment below, along with any future post suggestions and prayer requests. Your comments make my day!
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[Photo credits to my nine year-old brother, Billy, who took some of these great shots for me while I held the bible. What a sweetheart!]