Do you ever wish you had credibility and influence as a Christ-follower? Do you often feel like it’s impossible to convince your neighbors and friends andco-workers that God’s Word is true?
I think that it’s safe to say that in our day and culture, the Bible is no longer respected. And most of us would agree that the image of Christians in ourcountry is really negative — we’re often viewed as judgmental, hypocritical, anti-intellectual.
Is it even possible to change this? And if so, how?
I want to let you in on a little secret…the power to change and influence your world, your neighborhood, and your workplace lies in your ability to serve others by “doing good.”
In other words, how you live out your life, as a Christian, really matters.
In the Bible, the Apostle Paul instructs a young pastor named Titus who was struggling to lead a new group of Christians on this island called Crete. Atthat time in their culture, there was a lot of immorality going on. Due to the weakness of the Christians and the false teaching going on, these newChristians weren’t actually living like Christians.
Here’s how Paul addresses the situation:Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. (Titus 3:1-2)
Basically, Paul is saying: “Tell these Christians that when they do good at home, when they do good at work, and when they do good in their communities,not only will God’s Word will be honored and they will be respected, but their neighbors will also see the difference in their life. Pretty soon, peoplewill flock to them and will want to know how their lives can change.”
As Christians today, if we want change in our community and in our world,then we need todemonstrate – by how we live our lives – that Jesus is alive, He’s true, He loves people, and there’s hope.
So, perhaps the real question we should be asking ourselves is: What does it look like for me to live like a Christian in my community?
Here are six ways that we can live like Christians by “doing good”:
1. Obey the law. “…be subject to rulers and authorities… be obedient…” (v. 1)
My heart just breaks when I hear of people that have a very strong Christian testimony and then some time later, it’s revealed that they break the law andthey are completely discredited. If we want to change the world, then we need to obey the laws that we agree with and also the ones that we disagree with.
2. Serve your community. “Be ready to do whatever is good.” (v. 2)
This could also be translated as: “Be prepared and active to serve the welfare of your community.” God expects His followers to serve wherever they live.
3. Guard your tongue. “Slander no one.” (v. 3) Basically, we’re to “refuse to be negative” and guard our wordsabout other people. For instance, some of us may have strong political views, and we may disagree with people, but we need to be very careful about what wepost on Facebook or Twitter and what emails we pass on to people.
No corrupt word comes should come out of our mouths. Why? Because people identify us — not just with our jobs or our families — but also with Christ.
4.Refuse to fight. Be peaceable. (v.2)Literally, this word means, “be a non-fighter.” Yes, we’re to take a stand on the truth, but we’re also to take a stand with grace. We’re not in a culturalwar. We’re trying to win people’s hearts!
This is how the early Church changed the world. Their culture was completely anti-God. Yet, people just couldn’t get over the fact that it was theChristians who were the people that helped the poor and the lepers, and returned evil with good.
5. Be winsome and forbearing. Be…considerate. (v. 2) The word means, “To be considerate, gentle, willing to yield one’s rights.”
If anyone had a right to cling to his rights, it was Jesus. But Jesus understood serving God wasn’t about changing the culture or the Roman Empire andwasn’t about Him having His rights. Instead, He gave up his rights and suffered for us. In the same way, we’re to suffer for Him. (1 Peter 2:21)
6. Treat everyone like a very important person. “…be gentle toward everyone.” (v. 2)
As Christians, we should treat all people like VIPs, giving them respect and humility, regardless of their political views, their lifestyles, howmany tattoos or piercings they have, or how many Rolex watches they wear.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip