It’s so easy to ‘speak Christian’ but not really communicate. When we tell people to follow Jesus, it may feel like we’re telling people to stand in the corner of a round room. Phrases like “Give your life to Christ” and “Surrender to Jesus” describe a decision . . . a specific event, not a day-to-day guideline for living ‘this way of life.’
So I came up with eight practices that together, can make ‘this way of life’ a reality. I believe God’s Word supports all of these. So here goes . . .
- Love and accept people – Just as they are. Forgive them when they fail. Don’t create expectations for other’s behavior, especially for those outside the faith who don’t have the faith you have.
- Trust God with the outcomes – Peace over panic. Do the next right thing, remembering that He loves you, wants what’s best for you, and never leaves you.
- Relax in your identity – Strive no more! You are an adopted child of the King of Kings. You can’t be unadopted.
- Be generous – Trusting God allows you to give rather than hold back. Freely give your time, money, and grace without regard to being appreciated or getting anything in return.
- Develop your character – Faith in God makes it safe to do the right thing, as God defines it, even when nobody’s looking and when it’s going to cost you something.
- Live in community – Connect and commit to a church but even more, get connected and do life with at least one other Jesus-follower who knows your dark corners and whose life is headed toward Christ.
- Pray all the time – Listen to His voice in Scripture. Listen for His voice in your thoughts. Get in the habit of praying and listening, even a simple prayer like “I love you, Lord, I trust you, Lord, I need you, Lord, I thank you, Lord.”
- Intentionally mentor – Live your life for others. Be intentional about engaging with people for the purpose of helping them find and follow Jesus. Look for mentors to help you grow as you mentor one, two, or a group of folks who may be behind you in their spiritual journey.
Faith empowers us to live ‘this way of life.’ But faith in God as a concept won’t cut. It takes faith in a “friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Faith in an omnipotent God who wants you to trust Him enough that you can do all eight of these things consistently and with confidence in order to “have life and have it to the full.”
Scripture: Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. (Hebrews 13:7)