Not being an ordained minister, I find it pretty uncomfortable to attempt to tell anyone how he or she should or shouldn’t live their life. I don’t want to believe I’m that judgmental or, at least I’m trying very hard not to be.

However, it is becoming more and more obvious to me as I continue my walk, that certain behaviors are acceptable and, as a Christian, even expected.

The more I read and study, the easier it is to understand that what we do every day should reflect in some small way on what we believe in. It’s the “what we believe in” that should be what others see in us as we navigate the trials and pitfalls of a secular world.

The way you carry yourself should actually mean something. Those throw-away words and phrases, which ordinarily have little practical meaning, become living principles rooted in our psyche once we truly embrace what it means to live a Christian life.

I’m not speaking of those things we generally associate with spiritual existence. I’m talking about those things we understand as simple concepts but are actually incredibly powerful tools to live by: kindness, love, mercy, forgiveness, humility, for example.

If you notice I didn’t mention faith or belief in God or sacrifice and other very clear spiritual principles. True, those things should be the foundation for why and how you live.

But sometimes I think people fail to acknowledge the spiritual fundamentals is because to live a truly Christian life is an apparent impossible task.

Maybe, but it really is kind of easy to be courteous, nice, humble and charitable without knowing the first thing about faith. So, when people say it’s so hard to lead a Christian life, what are they really saying? When people refer to Christians as being ‘holier than thou,’ what are they really saying?

Can you see how complex we can make a really simple pattern of thought and an even simpler way of living? That simple pattern of thought should become and needs to become a set of guidelines by which you and I behave.

For Christians, the foundation for such behavior is specific and unyielding. It does not change. It is one of those constants in life that gives our lives purpose and meaning. Simply stated, we are deliberately trying to be Christ-like.

We are trying to demonstrate our beliefs and our faith through our behavior. The imperfections that we all have do not in and of themselves negate our efforts to let this world see Jesus in us. Remember, Christ was killed because He acted upon his belief.

The whole world knew then and knows today what He stood for. I’d like to think that even if the world doesn’t know what I stand for, it certainly knows who I stand with.

Therefore, don’t be surprised if my first reaction now is to give instead of take, to forgive rather than hold a grudge, to love rather than hate.

Excuse me if I want to see the best in others rather than the worst. Allow me to not judge you, to not be jealous of you, to not be envious and to always be thankful for the blessings that I have whether you can relate to me or not. I love the Lord.

I’m trying to love you. Through my rebirth, integrity, honesty and values take on a new meaning. Believe it or not, I am a new creature.

I am what you see. Don’t try to read in between the lines. Hopefully, you’ll get a glimpse of the Holy Spirit in something I say or do. I can only sincerely wish the same for you.

May God bless and keep you always.

(Photo: Courtesy of James Washington)

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