I remember when I first became a Christian, I was bumping heads with all kinds of people. I had a passion for Christ and I wanted to let everyone know the truth and what they needed to change their life and make themselves right with God. I was on fire for the Lord but I had no sense of how to handle this new found life, energy and passion in my soul. I had no idea how to love others in Christ, I had no sense of listening, offering grace and mercy or just praying for those who did not want to listen to the Gospel.
I have a lot of different ideas and beliefs then other people who don’t claim to be Christian, but I didn’t need to be another person who allows my zealousness over-shadow my love. I bet a number of people thought I was just a “crazy Christian”, I wouldn’t be surprised if a number of people were turned off to the Church, Jesus and the Gospel of Jesus Christ because of my immature zealousness. What does it mean to be a Christian? What should a Christian look like in today’s day and age?
In the sermon on the mount, Jesus says some pretty bold things. He makes statements about the sorts of people who are blessed, who see God, who inherit the Kingdom of God. Jesus said things that help us understand what it means to live as apart of the Kingdom of Heaven rather than of the World. Jesus makes some statements that will help us to understand what it means to be a Christian, how to look like a Christian. He makes statements about what people who have had life-changing encounters with Him will do, what their hearts will cause them to become. It’s pretty backwards, upside down and inside out compared to the way the world lives.
Christians are to be poor in spirit, as Christians, we should be people who are humble, who understand our need for a Savior. We are very needy people, we understand that we don’t have all the answers, we know we can’t make it on our own, we understand that as Christians, we’re just beggars who can tell other beggars where to find the bread. We are humble, we are needy, we are weak, we need Jesus.
Christians are those who mourn, who mourn for those who are under the devil’s hold, who are lost in their sin, who are enemies of God. Yes the world brings it’s share of sorrows equally raining down trials upon the lost and the saved alike. But as Christians we see a different reality, we see people who do not understand the truth pursuing hell at neck breaking speeds. If we have the heart of God, this should break our hearts.
A Christian is someone who is meek, a quiet strength, yet teachable, moldable people, not being prideful, but rather being those who are marked by meekness. Not being someone who is self-serving, not someone who is prideful and arrogant but rather being the sort of person who possesses quiet strength, whom is self-controlled, who understands that patience, humility and peaceful character traits.
As Christians, we should be hungry and thirsty for righteousness, for truth, for Jesus. We should be people who are hungry and thirsty for the things of God, the characteristics of God, the things that God loves, we should want. We should desire to be like God, we should want to be more in line with what God wants for us. We should desire holiness, desire truthfulness, desire purity, desire to be those who are filled with grace, love and humility. We should work to relieve the affliction of the outcasts and of those who are being treated with injustice.
The most evident mark of a Christian, should be mercy. We should be merciful, marked by mercifulness. We should be the most forgiving people on the face of the earth, people who are forgiving, who are loving and who offer grace and mercy to others. We have received such great mercy, we should be the most forgiving, graceful and merciful people on earth. Remember the story about the unmerciful servant?
Christians are those who should be pure in heart. We should be those who reflect Christ in our pureness, our innocence, blameless, clean and simple desire to be honest, straight-forward, untainted, light-hearted, no hidden agendas, trust-worthy, not the sort of person whom you would suspect. The sort of person who just makes you feel at peace and comfortable to be around, someone who is friendly, like family, trustworthy.
Christians are peacemakers, people who makes peace rather than strife. Someone who is more concerned about relationships, unity, peace and people then about success, things, accomplishments or projects. Christians are those who don’t back down from conflict or confrontation, but are eager to put differences aside for the sake of peace and unity. Why is it the hippies of the 70’s are more known for loving peace than Christians??
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?” Matthew 5:13
A teacher I once heard tell us that we were supposed to be the salt to make people thirsty for the Gospel and the light to bring them out of the darkness.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
Jesus wants me to be salt and light. Someone’s who’s heart longs for the redemption that Jesus brings. Someone who is excited to share Christ with others and explain the good news about what He offers freely to every single person on earth. But as I share, I should remember that God wants me to have certain attitudes of the heart that reflect His character, things that reflect who I am in Him and that mark me out as a Christian.