The Life of a Christian

Because of this thread in the pit I started thinking about what my role as a “Christian” in this life really is. I’m confused on some issues and am hoping some of you believers out there can help me see things more clearly.

When God tells us to be “Christ Like” in our daily lives, what exactly does that mean? When Jesus met the woman who committed adultery, didn’t he tell her to “go and sin no more”? So in saying that to her he obviously felt she was sinning and he told her straight to her face. When Jesus went into the temple and saw people selling things, he got angry and overturned their tables. So he saw they were not respecting the Holy Place of God and he got angry.

And then on the other side when he knew it was Judas who was to betray him, he still sat beside him, ate with him, and loved him as he loved everyone else.

So I’m confused. I would of course much rather be a loving, kind, and nonjudgmental Christian, which is what I’m striving to be. But I wonder if the way His4ever is going about things is maybe supposed to somehow be a part of that? Obviously I’ve seen the responses she is getting here, and they haven’t been good. But doesn’t Jesus say “Go out into the world and preach the gospel”? So does that mean to tell others about Jesus and that’s it? Or to tell of his teachings as well?

I want to portray the love of Christ in the best way possible. I just want to make sure that I’m doing it for him and that I’m not compromising because I might be afraid of what someone else might say. I mean he also said they will hate you for your beliefs, so what does that mean? Will you hate me for my beliefs, or for me telling you my beliefs?

This is confusing, isn’t it? I eagerly await your posts.


Hate to point out the obvious but if you want to be “Christ Like” why don’t you ask Christ himself? Didn’t he say that “whatever you ask in my name, that I will do”? So ASK…

Oh I do ask D Smith. Every day. If only it were easy to understand it all, which I don’t claim to do. Which is why I’m asking others who may or may not experience the same questions.

Christ forgave the sins of the woman at the well, and then told her to go and sin no more. We lack that authority. Christ went to His
Father’s house, and rebuked those there that were sinning in the
Temple, because He was given authority to do that by God, for whom the Temple was built. We must build our own Temple, in our hearts, and there rebuke those who sin, in the Temple.

When someone sins against you, you have the authority to forgive them for that transgression against you. When they need to be loved, you have the Christian duty to give them love. And when they ask us for guidance in spiritual matters, we have been bidden to give to them the good news of Christ’s resurrection, and the glory of the Salvation He has given us. When someone asks us to help them overcome sin, let us make sure that our choices are free of sin before we speak. I find it pretty hard to speak at all, on that subject.

So, come, sister Dreamer, let us wait patiently for the chance to witness with our lives to the Glory of God. And let us stand watch over each other, that we might keep our own pride and desires out of our witnessing. It is a very hard task, and I need lots of help with it.


TRIS, you’re my hero. :slight_smile:

IMO, it is dangerous to look at the judgments of Jesus for an example, because you ain’t Jesus. (And neither am I.) Jesus could take upon Himself the duty and right to judge the spiritual lives of men because He was the Son of God. Jesus could look into the soul of a prostitute, or a tax collector, and judge them. We can’t.

IMO, it is dangerous to attempt to tell thinking adults how they must live their lives. It inevitably comes across as arrogance, not as concern.

I believe we witness to our Christian faith by following the commandments to love God and our neighbors, and by being an example of God’s love through not only our words but through our actions. If God is a postive force in your life, then I think it is appropriate to channel that and exemplify that by being a positive force in the lives of others. There is enough divisiveness and fear in the world; we don’t need to add to it.

This is not to say that we as Christians should not speak out about wrongs that are being done, as we see them – if others are being hurt through them. But I respectfully suggest that if the “wrong” is one that is between the actor (or sinner) and God, and hurts no one else, then it is not for me to call him on it or chastize him for it. It is a matter between him and God.

Share the love of God through word and deed, and leave the punishment to God, or to the contrite heart that will punish itself when, in coming closer to Him, it recognizes its own failings and can only humbly pray for strength to do better.

But another, simplistic way: You can motivate a donkey through a carrot or a stick. Why be a stick when you can be a carrot?

I’m not a Christian, so I don’t know how useful my response is, but it seems to me that there isn’t anything wrong with saying, “I think what you’re doing is wrong, and here’s why, and you should stop”. However, if you choose to give advice like that, I think your attitude is important. I think it’s important to give the advice in a friendly spirit, and give it as advice, rather than being haughty and ordering people around…you know, it’s better to say something like, “You know, I don’t mean to offend you, but have you ever considered stopping smoking. I’m worried about your cough and cigarettes seem to make it worse.” than “Listen, maggot! Put out those cancer sticks immediately! Are you a fool, or do you have a death wish?” I can’t promise that the first suggestion won’t offend anyone, but the second one certainly will.

Well that was fucking glorious. Thank you, Trisk - as usual. :slight_smile:

In a nutshell? Don’t stand there and preach at me; if I want your “help”, I’ll ask for it. Otherwise, treat me the same as everyone else.

Is that so much to ask?


So, dreamer, here’s sort of a hijack but somewhat relevent. Why don’t you behave likethese folks? Or these folks? Or these folks? Or these folks? Or these folks?

Sorta different from your usual “Christian” fare, I’d say.

What do you think? More or less Christ-like than you aspire to be?

Where does God say one should be Christ-like in their daily lives?

1 John 2:5-6 “But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truely made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him. Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”

JS Princeton, thank you for those links, those are wonderful organizations. I’m not really talking about “good deeds” though. My questions are based more on being Christ-like in our daily lives in dealing with our friends, family, co-workers and anyone you meet on a regular day. And of course, here on the SD.

Trisk and Jodi, I know in my heart to love as Jesus loved and leave the rest up to him, thank you both for your responses.

Captain Amazing, I agree with you but I also must add that even mentioning the fact that you don’t agree with what someone does from a biblical standpoint and even in a “friendly spirit” isn’t always accepted and non-offensive.

Oh dude! I thought that meant his ass-shaking swaggering strut! Maaaan, have I been doing it wrong!

dreamer, I wouldn’t blow off JS Princeton’s links so fast. Do the kinds of things those people at those links do, you you will inevitably become more “Christ-like” in your daily life, IMHO. Don’t try to think yourself into a better way of acting. Better actions lead to better thinking.

Slight hijack perhaps, but…

Who are some people in the modern era that you would consider the best examples of true Christianity? (I realize that most of the people you believe to match that description are likely to be people that you know but the rest of the world doesn’t [e.g. Aunt Ruthie who volunteers holidays at the soup kitchen, the old man down the block who served in the Peace Corps, etc.], but for here I’m talking public figures [e.g. Jimmy Carter, Mother Theresa, etc.]).

Why do many Christians consider him to be a great teacher then? If one wants to be considered at least a good teacher; let alone a great teacher; then, I think they should have the ability to explain things in a way to where it is easily understood.


As I’ve learned in the past (the very recent past) is that you are to not only pray quietly, but also to do your good deeds quietly and without boasting. :slight_smile:

Jesus also said if one looks at a woman with lust, he has already committed adultery in his heart. Also in Matthew 19:12, he gave advice in which many in his day self-castrated themselves. Did Jesus have the same biological urges as other men do? Was he wired differently? If he did have the same urges, was he still considered sinless? If he was wired differently, then it seems silly for other men to have to be compared to him, if he was made without the same biological urges.

Jesus was very much pro-slavery. Is this “Christ-like”? Jesus also said in Luke 14:26 they if anyone came to him and not hate his father, mother, wife, children and even his own life, then he couldn’t be considered his disciple.

If anyone truly followed Jesus’ teachings, they would end up in a mental asylum. Fortunately most Christians I know don’t take much of it seriously. They copulate with the best of them; they lay treasures upon the earth; they give thought for tomorrow; they don’t turn the other cheek; they don’t love their enemies; and they don’t give to others simply because they ask for it.

I fail to see what’s so great about wanting to be Christ-like. The Bible leaves one asking more questions than giving answers.


So, what does that mean?

Maybe it just means that we are supossed to strive to be like him in the sense of loving others as he did. If “God’s love is made complete in us” then we are Christ-like in that way.

John, I believe Jesus had all the same feelings and urges we do. He just had so much knowledge and love from his Father, that that was his power over falling into sin. He still got angry, he had to face his fear before being crucified when he sweated drops of blood and asked God if it could be done any other way. I’m sure he had other desires but we don’t know how he dealt with those.

So those Christians are “fortunate” because they don’t do these things? Why would you be put into a mental asylum if you did not copulate, and you did tithe and you did turn the other cheek, and you did love your enemies and give to people who ask?

Do the Christians you know at least give it some effort?

Popular quote. It’s interesting that most Christians seem fixated on the last half of the last sentence, while the first half seems to shoot straight through the memetic digestion system untouched.

Which is to say, it seems pretty clearly to be a caution against making certain sorts of claims–particularly since the verity of those sorts of claims is not supposed to be in the claimant’s rightful domain of judgment.

But people are sure eager to make them anyway, aren’t they?

Doesn’t seem like the best imitation of The Walk, somehow.

Hi, dreamer!

May I offer for your review the Baptismal Covenant entered into by every member of my church (The Episcopal Church) and renewed on a regular basis, about five times a year on average? (As a liturgical church, we do it responsively, but we mean every word of it.):

There is for me a lot of meaning in this. First, one pledges to put one’s whole trust in God the Father, resting in the assurance of His love, knowing that He will “give you your daily bread,” and put into your paths only such obstacles as will enable you to grow and to provide help to others. Then you affirm that you take Jesus as Lord of your life. I’m less interested in the statements about His life than in the focus on His lordship over us, though YMMV.

Next you affirm belief in the Holy Spirit and in the ways in which He works in our lives, including the church (not the organization of human beings, but the body of believers united as the Mystical Body of Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit, the communion of saints (meaning all Christians, not the guys the Vatican decided deserve special recognition), the value of the human body and its restoration as a spiritual body to us after death, and the life everlasting.

Then the key points of how you’re going to live out that faith. My namesake dealt with a time when heresies and private interpretations of Christ’s message were rampant (sound familiar at all?), and he maintained that the one way in which you could be sure that you were following Christ was to follow the example of the apostles who had the privilege of living and walking with Him in His earthly life, and the people they chose to lead in their place, as church leaders. (Saying “bishops” today puts up red flags, but for St. Polycarp, the bishops were the guys who provided oversight over the local churches because the apostles had named them to do so.) Equally important are fellowship with one’s brother and sister Christians, partaking of the Lord’s Supper as He commanded, and joining in communal and solitary prayer. (Since the Eucharist is important to me, I could wax eloquent on that alone – but suffice it that you realize that one joins in it as part of His command, knowing that we need spiritual and physical nourishment and that the symbolism of crossing time to be spiritually present at His Last Supper and taking bread in memory of His Body given for us and wine in memory of His Blood poured out for us is important. Also take note that we are part of His Spiritual Body and that within the body, blood is the biological instrument of nourishing and cleansing the individual parts. There’s a lot of symbolism there too.)

Resisting temptation, but recognizing that when one does sin, one may repent and return, is a matter of maintaining appropriate humility and strength of will.

As we’ve discussed before, it’s important to show the Good News not only by word but by example. It’s much harder to tell a lie than to live one – and people can ignore what you say much more easily than they can ignore who you are.

“Seeking and serving Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself” is another thing more easily said than done. But that’s what we have Christian teachers and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives for. Depend on them, together.

The last promise is also important. Striving for justice and peace for every human being is a big part of what we’re called to do (despite “I come not to bring peace but a sword” – which was not His statement of purpose but a rueful recognition that calling people to Him would, given human nature, be divisive). I trust the thread in the Pit which Mr Visible started has given you some examples of how and how not to “respect the dignity of every human being.” (I sincerely hope I fall among the “how” examples.)

I’m not posting this in an effort to force it on you, but as one denomination’s understanding of how one lives out one’s Christian commitment, for your guidance as you see fit to use it, or parts of it, in your own walk.

I might also point out one nice prayer, which cjhoworth used most effectively to enhearten and re-strengthen me in a time of depression. It’s our Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion, used every Sunday just before the end of service. The second half is what I want to bring to your attention:

Hope this helps.