Living a Christ-like life

I think most of us would like to live surrounded by other believers, but the truth is that most of us are surrounded by those outside the faith. They, then, are the ones who watch us, who see our behavior, and who will end up judging us according to our hypocrisy or our faith. So how are we to live among the “outsiders” so that they cannot accuse us of hypocrisy or being “haters?” Here is what Scripture tells us: “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to slander no one, to avoid fighting, and to be kind, always showing gentleness to all people. For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another. But when the goodness of God and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us – not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. He poured out this Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that having been justified by His grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:1-7 Right here in a couple of paragraphs, we have the guidance for living a Christ-like life. No, He doesn’t say what will happen to us when we live like this, for that is not important. If anyone wants to know what will happen to them if they live respectable lives, before they agree to do it, they have missed the point of faith. Our faith tells us that regardless of how we are treated, we treat others like Jesus would. Our faith tells us that the way we live will not be rewarded with kindness necessarily, at least on this side of eternity. This is a model for living without regard to how we are treated in return. Our faith is not dependent on that. We lived in a duplex in Hawaii, when I was in the Military, and when I became a believer, I told the people living next to us. From that point on, they treated us like we had leprosy. But several months later, the wife from next door knocked on our door. She was embarrassed to be there, but she had to reach out. She asked if we would pray for her and her family, which was falling apart. She may not have liked the fact that we became believers, but in need, she reached out because she knew our faith was real. We were not looking for admiration, but were living like Christ wanted us to live. He revealed to us that the “outsiders” were indeed watching, and at least one turned to God in the time of need, and asked us to pray for them. If you believe, You have been given the Holy Spirit, who He says, ‘He poured out on us abundantly.’ If you believe, you will desire to be the peace in the midst of “Outsiders”. They will see your peace, and they will not be able to call you hypocrite, when you practice these things. They may still persecute you, but at least you will have given them nothing but love and peace, gentleness, and kindness, avoiding being sucked into retaliation for the way they treat you. We will respond with love; we will respond with kindness and gentleness. I know it’s hard, but it’s the way of the true believer. Pastor Andy

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