Being Christian is about more than being a good person. It’s even about more than loving Christ. A Christian journey is a never-ending adventure.
Becoming a better Christian involves becoming the person Jesus has called you to be. Jesus loves you as you are, but don’t you owe Him your best self?
We often get lulled into thinking that the Christian we are today is good enough. But a Christian who is truly striving to become the Christian he or she is called to be is never stagnant.
You go to church? Wonderful! You pray? Excellent! You love Jesus? Fabulous! But you shouldn’t think that’s enough.
We’re human, so there’s always something that we can improve. Where are you falling short? This really requires a serious look in the mirror. Only you (and God) really know what’s in your heart.
God requires us to follow His commandments. Are you following them? All of them? Or have you decided that what you’re doing is good enough? Do you keep holy the Sabbath? Are you honest on your taxes? Do you stop yourself from lusting after the hot girl/guy at the gym? Do you keep the green-eyed monster at bay when your coworker gets the promotion instead of you? Are you respectful to your parents – with regular calls and visits? Do you take office supplies home? Do you refrain from using the Lord’s name in vain?
Jesus asked us to love one another as He loved us. Do you? You’d (hopefully) say you love your spouse, your children, and your parents. But do you act like it? Do you show it? Does your temper flair easily? Do you belittle others? Are you impatient? Are you stingy with the needy? Do you call bullies out or join in the jeers? Are you obnoxious on social media? Are you prideful? Do you harbor resentment? Do you leave your messes for others to clean up? Are you vain? Do you own up to your mistakes and apologize? Do you cast stones? Do you silently look down on people? Are you racist? Do you judge people?
You might enjoy my post Love One Another if you want to delve into this topic more deeply.
It’s really easy to be tricked into thinking that because we’re “pretty good” Christians overall, that it’s good enough.
Instead, your goal should be to become a better person today than you were yesterday.
One common misconception we have is that our personality traits are pre-wired and there’s nothing we can do to change them. While that’s true to some extent, it’s also a faulty view and an excuse to stay stagnant.
I’m a textbook case of this. For years, I told my husband that my short temper was “just how I am.” I truly believed it. I couldn’t control the quick fuse – it would pop off before I even realized what was happening. After years of denial, I finally realized that even though it was my nature, it didn’t mean I needed to stay that way.
With concerted effort to improve, I first started analyzing the things that were setting me off. Slowly, I began recognizing the feeling of the volcano lava shifting inside. Now, I’m starting to end a conversation (or walk away if I need to) as soon as the lava moves. My goal is to recognize the signs earlier and earlier, and ultimately change my reactions long before any eruption. I’m definitely a work in progress, but I’m not giving up. Jesus asks me to love. Exploding at my husband (or anyone) is definitely not loving.
I’ve revealed a skeleton in my closet to challenge you to own up to yours. Some people have a difficult time looking in the mirror and seeing themselves truthfully. Jesus sees you truthfully. There’s no fooling Him, so you’d best face any demons you’re trying to hide.
A true Christian’s goal is to please the Father, not try to get away with the least effort possible.
The process of becoming a better Christian is simple in concept, but challenging in practice. Keep taking small steps forward and your reward will be an amazing relationship with Jesus.
Read the Gospels. Decide to live your life following Jesus’ example. He spells out the requirements for living a life pleasing to God in the Gospels.
Evaluate yourself honestly against the Ten Commandments. Challenge yourself to really abide by them. For example, one of my weaknesses is keeping holy the Sabbath. If I go to church for one hour but then spend another seven hours working at my computer or surfing on social media, have I kept it holy?
Take a hard look in the mirror. The only way you can really improve is to make an honest assessment. Do you really know God? Do you have hate in your heart? Does jealousy or self-doubt eat away at you? Come clean about your real weaknesses. Bring them to Jesus and ask Him to help you improve. Work at it – daily. Keep moving your target to push for continual improvement.
Pray. Talk to Jesus. Praise God the Father. Sing along to worship music. Use Jesus as the friend, mentor, and guide that He is. Get to know Him. See and feel Him working in your life.
Being a good Christian is a lifelong endeavor of improvement. Keep working at it. Don’t be discouraged over your weaknesses. Remind yourself that Jesus loves you as you are, then vow to bring Him your best self.
How are you becoming a better Christian? Let me know in the comments!