Society places its greatest value on appearance, money, position, and power; Christ places the highest value on relationship with God and others. The closer your relationship with God, the more you will deeply love His people and cast off anything that inhibits the full expression of God’s glory.
One major reason why some people remain stuck is they do not experience this transformation in identity. The transformational journey is inextricably connected to the fruit we produce as we become closer to and more like Christ. Our goal is to become like Christ, integrating His identity and character but the means is not to strive to produce a life marked by such fruit.
Rather the fruit is the evidence of our metamorphosis to a holier nature, a natural outgrowth of who we have become more than what we have learned to do. The distinction is critical but is often lost in the well-intentioned noise of our teaching, programs, and evaluation processes.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
The best intentions in the world will get you nowhere unless you have the character and demeanor to follow through on those dreams. Put simply, the nature of Christ deepens our understanding of what type of person is capable of transforming lives and changing the world. In His humanity, Jesus was able to develop the qualities that allowed Him to behave in a manner that transformed lives.
Many people were drawn to Jesus because of His nature. Without knowing much about what He stood for or His ultimate purpose, they were attracted to Him because of His attitude, character and demeanor.
Have you ever met a person where you felt there was something “different” about them? You couldn’t quite put your finger on it, but there was just something attractive about them.
Let’s look at the character that Christ modeled for us:
- Merciful and Grace-giving: “God blesses those who are merciful…Do not judge others, and you will not be judged” (Matthew 5:7; 7:1)
- Reconciliatory: “Go and be reconciled” (Matthew 5:24)
- Diligent: “Keep on asking….Keep on seeking… Keep on knocking” (Matthew 7:7)
- Teachable: “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise” (Matthew 7:24)
- Courageous: “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves…Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul” (Matthew 10:16,28).
- Accepting: “Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:50).
- Surrendered: “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).
- Repentant: “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 18:3).
- Humble: “Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themseves will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12)
- Servant-minded: “But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave” (Matthew 20:26-27).
People were drawn to Jesus because of who He was. His words simply magnified and clarified what He modeled for us in the flesh. One lesson we can all learn from His life is that if you allow God to restore your spirit, then your life will be transformed.
I encourage you to scour the Bible and read God’s principles for yourself. Some cultures have a “take charge” mentality and place a high value on independence, while other cultures highly favor community and the family unit.
Wherever you are in the world, dear reader, always remember that the love of Christ prompts us to grow beyond any nationality, ethnicity or culture you’ve grown up in. As a child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, you recognize how dependent you are on Him and how we gloriously need one another.
The more you become transformed in His image, the brighter your internal light will shine, and you’ll recognize that you have an eternal “family” on every continent, speaking every language who all love God and one another.
Isn’t it wonderful to know that our hope, joy and peace rest in our risen savior? Hallelujah! 🙂
May your wise choices, warm heart and love for others be the evidence of your heart and transformation in Him.
Christy Demetriades, Ph.D.