This text will be looks at a few aspects of Christian behaviour, how we can apply such characteristics in our lives.
Romans 12:11 ‘Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.
Diligence for the Christian is mandatory. God himself has given us an example of how to work effectively. If we are to look at the story of creation (Genesis chapter 1 and 2). Each day God had a set task which he accomplished. In like manner, we too should have a task that we are aim for daily. Our days should not be idle but of diligence. Like our father it should be evidenced what we have done for that day.
How can we apply the former? Every evening or morning write down realistic goals you would like to achieve for the day. Pray over these goals and work at best to attain these aims. Do not feel bad if you are unable to achieve all that you have set out to do, rather celebrate the tasks completed and work to attain the others.
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work nor dervice, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither thou goest.” Ecclesiastes 9:10
“Whatever our work, God is honoured by wholehearted, cheerful service. He is pleased when we take up our duties with the gratitude, rejoicing that we are accounted worthy to be labourers with Him.” COL 363.4. Regardless of the task at hand we are to have an eagerness when approaching it, for this pleases the Lord.
There will be times where one will find themselves in a job or having to do a task they find least favourable. In such instances, we are to dwell upon the benefits of the task. If we are finding it hard to see benefits then let us remember this; ‘’And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men’’ Colossians 3:23. We are to have a fervent approach as this pleases God.
2 Corinthians 9:6+7
“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully,
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
If you were to enter a church and ask the congregation, “who is looking forward to the second coming of Jesus?” A good majority would raise their hands or exclaim an expression of agreement. However, ask that same group to give 2% of their earrings to support a missionary who is wanting to share the gospel to hasten the advent of Christ. You are likely to be met with silence.
There is a blessing in giving, especially when it comes to furthering the work of God. When the topic of giving is brought up in a church setting, we typically think of donating money to support some cause. This is not always the case. There is something more valuable than money and without it money could not be made. This is called time. In giving up our time to serve others we too can experience the abundance referenced in the above verses.
This current generation does not need to leave the comfort of their home to give. You can donate to a cause via mobile, send words of encouragement via email or invite friends to your home for a clothes swap. Giving does not have to involve money but investing your time to help someone other than yourself.
Forgiveness is one of the fundamental aspects of Christianity. Part of Christ dying on the cross for us was to an act of forgiveness. “…He bare the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors”- Isaiah 53:12. “If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” - 1 John 1:9.
God is ready to pardon us, to forgive every speck of sin in our lives. However, we must believe this. We are not to think God only forgives in part but in whole. “He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:19
None are so sinful that they cannot find strength, purity, and righteousness in Jesus, who died for them. He is waiting to strip them of their garments stained and polluted with sin, and to put upon them the white robes of righteousness; He bids them live and not die. SC 52.3 - (Steps To Christ pg. 52)
Forgiveness does not only deal with our relationship with others but also with ourselves. The same way we are able through Christ to forgive others let us also forgive ourselves!
An elder in the church I attended in Senegal, often noted Christ has taken our sins and placed them at the foot of the cross. However, we too often go back to the foot of the cross to take back the sins Christ has liberated us from! There may be several reasons for this. One being we do not believe our sins have been forgiven.
“Do not wait to feel that you are made whole, but say, I believe it; it is so, not because I feel it, but because God has promised.” God has promised to forgive us so we are to believe this. Forgive yourself for God has forgiven you.
Let us practise diligence, the act of giving and forgiveness these things are part of what makes up Christian behaviour.