And God is able to make all grace overflow to you so that because you have enough of everything in every way at all times, you will overflow in every good work.
— 2 Corinthians 9:8 NET
The reality of our profession of faith in Jesus is demonstrated, not in what we know (biblical knowledge, and so on), but in how we live. As followers of Jesus, our behavior will either encourage others to consider the Christian worldview as a reasonable and worthwhile pursuit or widen the ever-expanding gap of division that separates us. So then, if we are to impact others in such a manner that will keep the doors of communication between us open and not slammed shut in our faces. We must realize it is our responsibility to correct the patterns of behavior that devalue our testimony and fail to support our truth claims.
In honesty, I must confess that it’s not always easy being a Christian. In fact, I find it hard to disagree with the person who said, “If you find it easy to be a Christian, you probably aren’t one.” I have many times failed in my pursuit of Christ-likeness. I have tasted defeat more times than I care to mention, and I am not so naïve or arrogant as to think I won’t taste its bitterness again. But with each painful stubbing of the toe, I will learn to be more observant, more watchful and sensitive to how my actions are interpreted by and affect others.
That I might better reflect his image, I will spend more time in his Word. I will listen more closely when the Spirit of God speaks into my life and will submit to his leadership. I will stand ready to make needed changes, adjusting my wants and manners of conduct to conform to his. Yes, my flesh — my stubborn human nature — will sometimes rebel, but I will persevere. For “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in [me] will bring it to completion…” (Philippians 1:6).
Where might you find yourself in this reading today? A follower of Jesus lagging behind? Or, perhaps you’re that person wanting to believe the Christian message but struggling to make sense of it all? Regardless, Jesus knows your story and is standing by even now with the help you need and the answers you seek. Talk to him. Tell him everything. He is a great listener and very good at making broken things work like new.