Post by Suzanne Roxanne
In my first blog post I said I would provide a few practical insights about effectively standing out as followers of Christ. Below I have provided three short insights and prayers I believe will benefit all of us. These insights have allowed me to search my own heart and I hope they will do the same for you. I also hope that as you consider these insights you will be honest with yourself before the Lord. When we evaluate our own attitudes we can become insanely effective because Jesus does great things with a humble, honest heart!
Insight: People can feel when you truly have love in your heart for them. It’s almost like a sixth sense all humans have. Real, godly love is attractive and will often be deeply felt by the receiver. In contrast, people can usually sense fake kindness so we must pray for God’s love to consume our hearts for others.
Prayer: Dear Lord, please give me an outpouring of love that draws and attracts non-Christians to You. I pray my love is genuine so that I am not faking kindness. I believe You will provide this kind of love in my heart for other people!
Insight: People can sense critical attitudes. Whether it is a judgment about the way someone looks or their behavior, everyone can sense when someone is looking down on them. Isn’t it an awful feeling to be around this kind of person? Critical attitudes put a distance between two people very quickly. So put down any critical attitude if you want to be effective. God doesn’t force anyone to change and neither should you. Instead, the Lord nudges us and shows us over time various things that need to change in our lives. When we are in relationships with non-believers we must also keep in mind that they have not submitted to God so they do not have the Holy Spirit teaching them like He teaches us. Therefore, we should be extra understanding and patient. Even if you do speak the truth to someone out of obedience to God it should always come from a place of love, not criticism.
Prayer: Lord give me wisdom when interacting with non-Christians. Help me respect them. Please give me wisdom if there is something you need me to tell them. Please check my heart for any critical attitude I might be harboring. I pray that first and foremost, You will guide me in telling people about You with kindness and love.
Insight: People can feel religious superiority. Even if you follow Jesus, you are still a human on the same playing field as anyone else. The only difference is that you have accepted the fact that you need Jesus. That doesn’t make you better than anyone, it just makes you saved by an awesome God. We are ineffective when our hearts are not right and when we talk to people with an attitude that we have it all figured out. In reality, all a Christian is doing in life is sharing the hope found in God in the midst of being broken. Look at it that way to avoid acting superior to anyone.
Prayer: Lord, please check my heart. Help me see if I am being prideful or disrespectful towards others. Please do not allow a prideful heart to make me ineffective. Break down walls between me and other people. Remind me I do not have it all together. Thank You, Jesus.
I wrote these quick insights and prayers because I know Jesus was the best person to hang around. He was gentle and I bet His presence was calming. Jesus definitely upset some people, but not because of how He spoke. It was what Jesus said that offended people. We might upset someone with the truth, but at least we can know that we spoke with the right attitude and behavior.
(All copyrights are owned by the author and infringers will be punished under applicable law)