12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
As we look at how to move past a “good enough” life towards a “greater” life, we will consider ways to have a Jesus-like influence on those around us. Sometimes the first step is to live the right way. By this, I do not mean live perfectly. That would be an impossible goal. However, I do mean to challenge you to be intentional about your behaviors, words, and interactions with others. Often, we weaken our influence on people because we simply don’t consider it.
Think about the 5-10 people in your life with whom you have direct influence. (You might jot down the names because we will be thinking about them all week.) These are probably your immediate family, close friends and people you work with. Now, remember that you are a Christ follower, called to lead people toward Christ, and called to love God and love others above all else. If this is your calling, how would those in your close circles rate you on the influence chart? Are you behaving in such a way that others see Christ in you? Is your love of God evident? Are you loving your neighbor well?
Re-read the above text. What sort of “clothes” are you putting on each day? Are you bearing with one another, forgiving, loving? Spend some time really thinking about this. Again, you do not need to strive for perfect, just be intentional about the sort of influence you are having.
Dear Lord, you came as a humble servant, and you call us to follow your life and example. Show me how to listen to your voice, not the voice of culture. Guide me past settling for “good enough,” and into the greater life you call me to. Give me humility, courage and grace in this journey. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.