It has often been stated both here and elsewhere that one of the primary challenges facing Christianity today is that we are known less for what we are for than for what we are against. Certainly there are things from which we who follow Christ must refrain. We should not engage in activities that do not mirror the love, beauty and glory of God. We were created and called to reflect Him, so any time we spend doing things that are antithetical to God, we are living outside of His will for our lives. Being a positive sort of guy, I’d like to concentrate more on the things for which we should be known. Frequent readers will recognize that we have covered much of this before, but each of us needs to constantly remind ourselves of why we are here. If we could keep our mission in the forefront of our mind, we would not waste so many hours asking questions like, “Why am I here?”, and “What should I do with my life?”
The reason we are on this earth is to glorify God by doing the things He told us to do (these are the things for which Christians should be known) in a way that reflects His love by serving others. We must all be seeking ways each day to help out someone in need, whether that means offering a helping hand, a kind word or some hard-earned cash. All of us have something to offer in service to another, and it is our duty to give what we have. There are no exemptions in life for those who are committed to following Jesus.
There are attributes we must model as individuals to reflect the glory of God. We are told to be humble, gentle and patient (Ephesians 4:2). Our lives should be marked by truthfulness and dignity (Ephesians 4:25, 28). Any words that come from our lips should be uplifting and positive, spoken to help strengthen and encourage others (Ephesians 4:29, 31-32). Christ modeled each of these traits even under intense persecution; we certainly should do no less within our comfortable lives.
Then there are the things we must do among our fellow believers. We should always be focused on keeping unity within the Church (Ephesians 4:3). Our lives should be marked by peace and not strife, because we all serve the same God (Ephesians 4:3-6). We have enough trials being thrust upon us by those who do not share our beliefs; we don’t need to add insult to injury by piling on from within our own body. Petty arguments have no place among followers of Jesus. We must remain focused on the mission and not allow ourselves to get caught up in things that have no eternal value.
Finally we are instructed to move outside of ourselves and our inner circles and serve the world around us. We are to give from our excess so that none goes without food, shelter or clothing. A special emphasis is required towards orphans and widows (James 1:27) which implies those who are most vulnerable and cannot help themselves. We have enough resources within the Western church to totally eliminate hunger from this world. We have the resources to make certain that everyone has access to clean drinking water. Yet the statistics do not lie; we simply are not choosing to get it done.
Let’s begin to change the perception of Christianity throughout our world. Let’s make the argument based on what we stand for rather than on what we stand against. Every one of us has a vital role to play in this endeavor. If each of us were to start doing the things for which Christ created and commanded us to do, we would quickly revolutionize our societies. If we would simply carry on the mission of Jesus, the one to whom we all claim to be committed, we would turn our cities upside down. We are the called and chosen. We are the ones who have sworn allegiance to the King. Will we now take up our crosses, follow Him, and change the world?