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The "Good" Christian

What does it mean to be a good Christian? It's easy to define being good as not doing all the bad stuff. My mind goes to the words written in Colossians 3 (CEV):

5 Don't be controlled by your body. Kill every desire for the wrong kind of sex. Don't be immoral or indecent or have evil thoughts. Don't be greedy, which is the same as worshiping idols.

Paul tells us that Christians should have a clean mind, and a clean heart. But he doesn't stop there; he goes on to mention many other things in verse 8:

8 But now you must stop doing such things. You must quit being angry, hateful, and evil. You must no longer say insulting or cruel things about others. 9 And stop lying to each other.

We would all be better and good Christians if we could stop being angry, hateful, and evil! These are factual statements.

We are also told to start doing other things in verse 12:

12 God loves you and has chosen you as his own special people. So be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient.

When we read these words, it's not hard to see areas we need to improve. Our lives should look different than those who have not encountered Christ.

Is stopping something and starting others what it means to be a Good Christian?

Good behaviors aren't so we can have a polished, admirable life. Look at the very beginning of Colossians 3:

1 You have been raised to life with Christ. Now set your heart on what is in heaven, where Christ rules at God's right side.

Think about this thought: We have been raised to life with Christ. This means part of us has DIED! Just like Christ was crucified on the cross, our old way of living has been crucified, and we have a new opportunity to live with Christ.

He is our new life. And our great hope and joy are that one day we will be reunited with Him. On that great day, we will be made completely and totally new. We will reflect Him perfectly.

Everything Paul teaches rests on this truth: We are being made in the image of Christ.

With that truth in mind, we can read these words of instruction differently. Our actions should reflect this new life we've found in Christ. Why would we want to keep living in the dirt and grime of our old life before Christ?

Avoiding certain behaviors is part of being renewed, but that's only part of being a Christian. New behaviors are just a reflection of the new life born in your heart. Our life has a new foundation. It was built on self and consumed with meeting our own needs and desires. Now, it's built on Him and is consumed with meeting the needs of others.

Look at verse 16:

Let the message about Christ completely fill your lives, while you use all your wisdom to teach and instruct each other. With thankful hearts, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.

Instead of asking, "what does it mean to be a good Christian?" we should ask, "does my life reflect my NEW life in Christ?"

Do the things I do prove the fact that I have been changed on the inside? We should allow Christ to change us completely - give in to His work in our hearts and life. One day we will be a perfect reflection of Him, but we should start on that journey today.


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