devozine

Spiritual Practice

God is Good–All the Time! How About You and Me?

Robert Roth

Soccer scrimmage2 IMG_0216Are practicing Christians expected to practice the faith all the time?

 

When volleyball practice, football practice, or drama practice is over, you sigh and head for home. You are still a volleyball player, a linebacker, or a character in the play; but you have practiced enough for one day. What about practicing Christians: Are we expected to practice the faith all the time?

 

Depends on the Definitions

Consider two definitions of the word Christian. Both are true, but each one suggests a different way of measuring what it means to be a Christian 24/7. Which definition best expresses your perspective on being a Christian?

  • A Christian is a person who is Christ-like.
  • A Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ.

Hard to choose — and hard to separate, aren’t they? At the same time, discovering which one you tend to emphasize will help you to explore the goals you set for yourself and to decide if they are too harsh, too easy, or just about right.

 

“Be Like Me” or “Follow Me”

If you prefer the first definition, remember that always doing what Christ would do or being the kind of person Jesus Christ would be is impossible. God does not ask you to walk on water, to give sight to the blind, or to be the greatest spiritual teacher in human history. So don’t be too hard on yourself when you have moments that aren’t exactly Christ-like!

As a follower of Jesus, you can work to express Jesus’ love, compassion, wisdom, and patience whenever you are able. Following the way of Christ changes you each day. As God works in you and through you, others may, in fact, point out that you have become more Christ-like.

 

24/7

devozine Helping Hand FTR TSP 153834067Here are some ideas or practices that will help you to walk in the direction of faithfulness, becoming more like Christ along the way.

  • Pray each day, letting prayer affect all your living.
  • Offer some time every week in service to others.
  • Ask for forgiveness when you act badly or fall short.
  • Begin again to let God’s love shine through you.

Only God is perfect. God took human form in Jesus Christ, and God helps you to move toward perfection. What’s your next step?

 

DIG DEEPER

Read Hebrews 12:1–2. The season of Advent, during which we prepare for Christmas, is a great time for self-examination. What hurdles will you have to jump over to run the race of faith in the months ahead? What hazards will you need to avoid in order to become more Christ-like? List these in your journal.

PRAY: God, help me to follow Jesus. Give me strength to clear the hurdles, wisdom to avoid any hazards, and forgiveness to start over when I trip or fall. Help me to grow more and more like Christ each day. Amen.

 

Robert Roth is a Christian writer and social activist in East Lansing, Michigan.

— from Devo’Zine (November/December 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Upper Room Ministries. All rights reserved.

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