What It Really Means to Be a Christian
A Christian, in its simplest definition, is a follower of Christ. Although it may seem simple, it is quite profound since Christ is the ultimate forgiver, lover, and teacher. Following in His footsteps is not an easy task. This is why, as Christians, we strive to be like Christ, not attempt to be Him. Christianity goes further than just believing in Jesus; it’s living as one of His disciples. So, what does it mean to be a Christian? Ultimately, living a life like and for Jesus Christ. Below are seven Christ-like qualities all authentic Christians venture to incorporate in their lives.
Treating Others With Respect
Respectfulness translates into the values of a person. It defines him or her as caring, loving and understanding—three words that perfectly describe Jesus’s teachings. Respect often entails practicing empathy; empathizing with others is one of Christ’s greatest gifts. If you are a sinner, Jesus knows your truest and purest heart. When you are sick, Jesus still showers you with love. If you are misunderstood, Jesus understands you. Treating others with respect is one of the ultimate qualities of a Christian since it displays the unconditional love Jesus sculpted into the hearts of His disciples.
Never Striving For Perfection
There is only one perfect Christian—Christ. God carefully and thoughtfully morphed us into imperfect human beings when He gave us free will. We have the option to choose sin or to choose God. Although free will can seem like a curse, it is one of God’s greatest gifts to us. We can offer genuine faith to God freely. Imagine the joy God feels when you choose Him over your deepest, sinful desires. Our imperfect lives make us Christ’s followers and not Christ’s robots. Shout with joy atop the highest skyscraper, because of you, fellow Christian, are an imperfect person. Striving to be like Christ means choosing God, but we often fail, which is how God intended it to be. When we fail, we learn. We grow. We are reshaped into greater Christians.
Helping Others Carry Their “Cross”
Simon of Cyrene walked up to the bloody and fatigued Son of God; by lifting up Jesus’s cross, Simon helped Him continue on His painful, seemingly endless journey to Calvary. Like Jesus, we will have a cross we will have to bear. Like Simon, we will come across people in our lives that are carrying their own cross.God has a plan for us that include turbulent times. Turning to God during the hard days, weeks or years, is the most powerful way to get through the troublesome seasons in our lives and evolve into stronger and more faithful Christians.However, there will be times when someone’s cross, like Christ’s, becomes too heavy to carry alone. As Christians, we embody the actions of Simon. We bear the weight of the cross, so our friends or family members can receive momentary relief. When people are going through difficult times in their lives, they can lose the happiness and hope that they once possessed. Losing happiness and hope can transfigure into a loss of faith in God. When you support them in this time, you are guiding them into the arms of God, as Jesus did with His disciples.
Letting Go of the Past
Forgiveness is a three syllable word with so much worth and meaning. Jesus was the ultimate forgiver. As He hung from His hands and feet, seconds away from death, He forgave the very people who put Him on the cross.Forgiveness entails letting go of the past. When we forgive, we act as Christ and grow into a better version of our Christian selves. We must forgive others for what they have done to us, but also, forgive ourselves for what we have done to others. Ultimately, our final goal is to reach our eternal home and be united with our Heavenly Father. As Christians, we must let go of the past and move on. We grow as followers of Christ, and hopefully, enter the golden gates to eternal happiness.
Understanding the Word Humility
Like respectfulness, humility reveals Christ-like qualities. When Christians act humbly, they show the true nature and heart of Christ and His followers. As faithful Christians, our primary purpose on this earth is to lead others toward God and help them grow in their faith. When we act humbly, we show a true version of Christ to others. People can better understand our beliefs, and in the end, we inspire more people to convert into disciples of Jesus Christ.
Just Being a Good Person
Following every rule or sitting in the front row at church does not automatically equate into a Christian. Christianity involves many aspects including loving, helping, and genuinely caring for other people on this Earth—acting with a Christly heart. However, when only trying to be the best person you can be, you will unintentionally present Christ-like actions. If you strive to be a good person, the six characteristics listed above will naturally fall into your everyday behavior. As a fellow Christian, I understand the magnitude of acting in a Christ-like way can have on the world. Together as Christians, let’s make our temporary home a greater, more Christ-like place. Let’s just be good people.