Being a Christian includes a responsibility to develop your character in line with God’s word. The longer you’ve been a Christian, the further along you should be in that development. When you first get saved, you are made new in Christ immediately, but it takes time to walk out the actual deep changes.
Many people report that they are instantly freed from drugs, alcohol, anger, or other addictions, but most still have to work at these things. The good news is that once you are saved, you are no longer relying on yourself alone. If you have felt that you didn’t have the ability to overcome deeply ingrained negative behaviors, don’t worry! You are not on your own anymore.
Once you are saved, you receive the spirit of the Living God. You can now do all things through God because he heals us, guides us, and enables us in ways that we could not on our own. It’s because we know God that we have a responsibility to behave on a higher level and walk in love even when the people around us do not.
This means not speeding and cutting people off on the road, and not having road rage when others do it. It means not gossiping at work, and not retaliating against those who do. It means not cheating or taking unfair advantages even when we can get away with it. It means not cussing or telling dirty jokes, and not participating when others do it.
Being a Christian means walking a path that is most likely not in with the rest of the crowd. It’s not about making yourself different necessarily, but following Godly principles instead of the peers around you. You don’t ever need to announce to people that you are a Christian. Your character should speak for you. It’s better to let people see your character shine, than to announce to everyone you are a Christian and then slip into gossip or unethical behavior.
People who don’t believe in God don’t realize that we believers are human beings that are works in progress at various stages in our personal development. They think any Christian who isn’t perfect is proof that God is not what the bible says he is. You can never judge God by the behavior of people, because people are imperfect. We fall short, we fail sometimes, we have bad days and we disappoint. God however, stays the same. His character is eternally the same. He is never weak, never fails. That’s why we rely on him and not ourselves, especially when it comes to teaching us how to have a better character, how to enact those right changes in our lives.
There’s a saying that our true character is who we are when nobody is looking, and that’s true. Who are you when people are looking and when they aren’t? No matter who you are, there are things you can improve with God’s help. Have the courage and strength to ask God to help you change in those areas and start walking it out…one step at a time.
Each day is a fresh new opportunity to practice being the person you want to be and that God wants you to be. Let go of guilt from how you’ve handled things in the past, turn it over to God, take a deep breath, smile, and face today with a new attitude. The past is gone, and the future will take care of itself. Today is a fresh start. Make the most of it by being your best through God regardless of what anyone else is doing.