A few weeks ago, I posted a blog called 5 Simple Ways to Let Others See Christ in Your Life. Based on the response, I wanted to give you five more ways you can stand apart from this world like Jesus did.
- Show grace, not a critical spirit.
It dawned on me years ago that it was easier for me to be critical of someone upon meeting them, than to show them grace. I was tuned into how they dressed, talked, and displayed themselves, rather than their heart for which Christ died. But, my critical spirit was not exemplary of Christ in me. That was the flesh in me. The selfishness in me. The insecurity in me that felt I needed to compare myself with others in hopes that I would come out ahead. People weren’t seeing Christ in me that way. They were seeing a critical woman trying to compensate for her own hurts.
When you and I start showing compassion toward others, empathizing with others’ situations or hurts, and showing grace and mercy rather than a critical spirit, we can be representatives of Christ’s grace and mercy. In Micah 6:8 we read that what God requires of His own is “to do justice, and to love kindness,and to walk humbly with your God.” Are you being just, kind, and humble in your attitude toward others? If so, they will see Christ in you.
2. Be willing to be at the bottom.
It’s human nature to want to be a celebrity. Even a Christiancelebrity. But Jesus never sought the spotlight even though He fully deserved it. Instead, He insisted His Father receive the accolades and glory. Jesus showed us that the way up was down. The last would be first. And the humble would be exalted.
James 4:10 instructs: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” The world doesn’t value humility. It avoids it all costs. Yet Christ humbled Himself when He gave up what was rightfully His to come to this earth and live a life at our level. There is nothing more beautiful than someone who is at “the top” and shining brightly for Christ because they were willing to be at the bottom. One who lets God exalt him, rather than exalting himself, is one through whom others see Christ.
3. Be holy, not hurried.
First Peter 1:15-16 instructs: “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” At first glance, you and I think I can’t possibly be holy. But holiness means to be set apart because of our purity and righteousness that comes not from ourselves, but from Christ’s spirit in us.
Jesus was holy (fully obedient to His Father), set apart, so very different from the world. And we can be set apart, too, by slowing down long enough to hear God’s voice, notice people around us, and say a kind word. Concentrate on being holy, rather than hurried and harried While the world is constantly pushing you to “Hurry up,” “Get it done. Faster!” and “Don’t wait. Do it now,” Scripture quietly beckons us to “Be still….” (Psalm 46:10) and “Wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14). Take time for God and others and people will see Christ in you.
4. Don’t worry.
When you and I wring our hands in worry or freak out in our frustrations, or just burn the midnight oil striving for what we believe we must do, we are showing the world that we believe we are in control and if we stop and rest, it will all fall apart. That’s not how Jesus lived. He lived in perfect peace, even in His most trying moments. That’s because He was well aware of His Heavenly Father’s presence, protection, and provision. Can you say the same?
When you and I practice Philippians 4:8-9 and worry about nothing, but pray about everything, we will experience His peace and we will live much more like Jesus – a life characterized by peace rather than worry and restlessness.
Those who don’t know God stress as if they are the ones who have to make everything happen. One who is following Christ and fully dependent on Him will display a quiet peace and trust, knowing that God is able to supply all his needs (Philippians 4:19) and is working all things together for his or her good (Romans 8:28-29).
5. Be zealous for God’s glory.
This is the one that might make other people uncomfortable around you, but it’s what made people uncomfortable around Jesus, too. If people are truly going to see Jesus in you, they are going to see a zealousness for the glory of God.
Don’t be afraid to challenge someone who claims to come in the name of God, but is preaching a different gospel. Don’t be afraid to offend someone by speaking out about how they are oppressing the poor. Don’t be afraid to confront legalism or religious pride if it is putting an unfair burden on the servants of the Lord or distracting from the Gospel of grace. That kind of stuff angered Jesus. It made Him appear to others like a madman with a whip in the temple courts! Jesus was adamant about protecting the holiness, integrity, and glory of God. When you do that, too, people will see a side of Jesus in you that they hadn’t seen before.
Which of these would you like to be more evident in your life? I’d love to hear your input in the comment section below.