In this time of confusion, division, and sometimes hate or indifference, are others seeing Jesus in you?
In my last blog, I gave you “5 Ways to Let Others See Christ in Your Life.” This week I have five more ways that you and I can reflect the light and love of Jesus in a world that can appear so dark at times.
- Keep your cool.
Are you a person of self-control who can keep calm and carry on? Or are you one to fly off the handle when you are upset? Do others look to you in a crisis or do they run the other direction knowing you’re the “hot head” who loses your cool?
Proverbs 15:18 tells us “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.” And James 1:19-20 says “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
There is wisdom in exercising patience and understanding, even in situations that are frustrating. Your self-control shows others Who you are trusting. When you display a gentle spirit and respond maturely, rather than blow steam and react emotionally, you are showing others that your faith and trust is in God, who can work out any situation.
- Watch your words.
I’ve read more hurtful, biting words by Christians on social media sites than I’ve ever experienced from unbelievers while writing for secular newspapers for years. It’s okay to feel strongly about something and voice your concern. Jesus, many times, came out and said it like it was. But, He expressed absolute truth. Many times we are just expressing our opinions, which aren’t always verified truth. Can we show a little love, understanding, and grace by simply tempering our words, especially when we’re all on the same team?
Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” And Proverbs 16:2 says: “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
It’s been said “people who hurt, hurt people.” Do your words heal rather than hurt? Do they lift up others instead of tear them down? When you speak healing, helping words, instead of biting words, stinging comments, and self-righteous rebukes, others will see Christ in you, instead of your pain. Remember, it’s better to to be loving than to be right.
- 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, 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.
- 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? Even in a pandemic?
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. A woman who is following Christ and fully dependent on Him will display a quiet peace and trust, knowing that God is able to supply all her needs (Philippians 4:19) and is working all things together for her good (Romans 8:28-29).
- 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 offend 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 look 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.
How will others see Jesus in you this week? I’d love to hear it in the comment section below.