Do people know that you’re a Christian? Is there a light shining within that makes it unmistakable that you are a child of God? Anyone can declare themselves a Christian, it is easy to talk the talk, but walking the walk is not for the faint hearted. Being a follower of God requires courage, strength, obedience, and knowledge of the teachings of Christ. Many will say they are Christian, but their actions prove otherwise. Christianity is more than a religion. It is a lifestyle that should mirror the life of Christ. Self examination is critical in our journey in becoming mature Christians. We have to take our scalpel and dissect our behavior, words, and lifestyle to see if we are on the road to maturity.
Ephesians 4:2-3, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
It is important as Christians that we learn to be patient and seek peace as Jesus did. In our own lives do we practice being patient not only with our friends and family, but with strangers? Its’ not easy being patient in the grocery line, or when you’re stuck in traffic, but these are perfect opportunities to let your light shine. When you encounter a homeless person do you say hello or hurry past in fear of them asking for money? Ask yourself in every situation how Jesus would act? Since we are human we will fall into fleshly traps. It is in those times that we must examine our hearts, and pray for those Christ-like qualities. Ask God to reveal what you need to work on.
The words that leave our mouth have incredible power to either build someone up or tear them down. The bible warns us numerous times about how the tongue the tiniest member can cause severe damage to those around us.
Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Gossiping, lying, and immoral talk has no purpose or place in a Christian’s life. As mature Christians, we should speak words of truth, encouragement, and inspiration that will benefit others. The scriptures are clear that our words need to be a blessing to others. Our conversation should be for the betterment of those we are speaking with. Refrain from being malicious in your words, let them be seasoned with kindness.
An unforgiving heart is a hardened heart. Without forgiveness, your growth as a Christian will be hindered. It is impossible to become a mature Christian if you are holding onto to resentment. Carrying anger inside will interfere with the purpose that God has planned for you.
Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.”
Surely, if Christ God almighty can forgive us for our multitude of sins and have mercy upon us, than we can forgive others and let God deal with the rest. Each person we encounter deserves to be treated with kindness and compassion. Jesus did not cast away the lepers or the prostitutes instead he embraced them with unconditional love. A mature follower knows that his actions are indicative of how brightly his light shines. When you love as Jesus did, purely with tenderness you are walking down the path that is of Jesus. If you are striving to reach your full development as a Christian then replace pride and ego with humility, gentleness, and forgiveness.
Our purpose is to carry out the work that God has in store for us and live in unity in the body of Christ. Therefore we must seek the wisdom of Christ. Our feet must be firmly rooted in the gospel and our faith in Jesus Christ our Savoir. Mature Christians are not swayed by the deceitful ways of the world. We know to examine what enters our life and if it is of God and use discernment based on the knowledge that he has blessed us with.
Ephesians, 4:14, stresses this, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.”
Becoming a mature Christian requires knowing the Lord’s will and living accordingly. It means putting away childish behavior not worthy of our Lord and letting our light be a shining example of Christ’s workmanship within us. Take stock of your actions and if they are not of the Lord, change them so that you are in accordance to his will. Imitate Jesus so that others may be encouraged to follow in his footsteps.
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