Paul told the Colossians, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:12-14).
There is a reason we are called to live as Christ lived. Because the world will look at our lives, at the way we live, at the things we say and do, and reflect those images onto Jesus. They will see him as they see us. Nothing brings greater disgrace to the cause of Christ than people who claim to know him but live in anger and judgment and arrogance. People who live in sin and hypocrisy within the church.
And the reverse is also true. Nothing brings greater honor to Christ than people who exude a lifestyle of love and compassion and kindness. People who see others as Jesus sees them and treat other people the way that Jesus would treat them. People who live as Christ would live.
Every day you and I have to make that choice. It is already a given that our actions will reflect on Jesus, but what we reflect is a decision we have to make. A decision we make day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. Will we choose to live in grace and kindness and mercy? Will we choose forgiveness over retaliation? Or will we live in bitterness and hypocrisy?
What we decide makes all the difference in how the world reacts to God’s message of hope and salvation. We can be sure the world is watching — so choose wisely!
Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run.