Living As A Christian
Some people have strange ideas about what it means to live as a Christian. Some think it means you have to always be well presented, go to church twice every Sunday, not stay out past midnight, and never, never have fun.
Others think it means giving up all trace of individuality, giving all your money to the church, and living in some sort of commune.
Still others think it’s about withdrawing from the world, losing touch with reality, and only ever mixing with other Christians.
Unfortunately, some Christians also believe these myths, and give the rest of us a bad reputation.
Happily, we can tell you that none of the above is what real Christian living is about.
Christianity is all about having a relationship with the God who created us.
So to live as a Christian, you actually have to be one. That may sound obvious, but many people try to ‘live a Christian life’ without having any understanding of what Christianity is all about. If you haven’t already, check out the God Makes Sense section to find out the answer.
Becoming a Christian begins with a prayer.
The first priority is to repair the relationship between you and God, based on what Jesus has done. A person becomes a Christian by asking God to forgive them. This heartfelt act of turning back to God is all that is required.
I know that I have not lived as you want me to. I have not loved you as I ought nor loved the people who live around me. I am sorry and want to change.
Thanks you for Jesus. Thank you that he lived and died for me and rose again and is now the Lord.
Please forgive me and help me to live as you want me to.
By praying this prayer you have become a Christian and your relationship with God has been renewed, you have been reconciled to God.
You also made a commitment to start living as a Christian – to love God and to love your neighbour. Living as a Christian is a life long commitment to your relationship with God. This involves:
1) Letting Jesus Rule
If Jesus is the Lord, God’s chosen king, then being a Christian means having Jesus as your Lord. It means obeying Jesus and living with him as your boss.
Like every other person, there will be lots of things in your life you need to change. You will have to stop your old rebellious habits (greed, anger, selfishness, and so on) and start some new ones that please God (like generosity, kindness, love and patience).
It’s important to remember that all this stuff doesn’t save us. NOTHING we do can make God love us any more than he does. But if we love him – which is what being a Christian is all about – then we should want to do those things that please him.
This process will go on for the rest of your life, but God will be with you all the way. He’ll keep speaking to you through the Bible; he’ll keep listening to you and helping you as you pray; he’ll empower you to change and to live his way by his Spirit that lives within you; and he’ll provide brothers and sisters to encourage you along the way.
2) Speaking with God
We communicate with God by praying. There’s nothing magical about prayer, and there’s no right or wrong way of doing it. It’s simply talking to God, it can be out loud, or just in your head, but we can be certain the God listens to us, and like all good communication, the more regular and honest it is, the better.
God communicates with us through the Bible. The Bible is full of what God wants to tell us about how we should live. Things like ‘love one another’, and ‘look after the poor and needy’.
At first glance, the Bible seems like a big forbidding book, and you probably won’t know where to start. But don’t be put off by this, it’s basically a collection of books that tell the story of how God has related to people throughout history.
The best place to start is in the New Testament (the second section of Bible). You might like to start by reading the following New Testament books – Luke, then John, then Acts, then Romans, then Colossians.
If you don’t have a Bible you can read the Bible online or even search the Bible for key words and topics.
3) Relating to God’s People
As Christians we need each other, for support, encouragement, learning and growing. Living as a Christian can be hard and meeting with other Christians encourages us to keep going.
So try to find a group of Christians to read the bible and pray with. They may be members of your local church, school or work situation. It may seem daunting to go up to them and talk about having become a Christian but they will be overjoyed to meet you.
4) Telling Others About Your Relationship with God
The more you grow in your understanding of what God has done in your lives, the more you will want others to know about it, and how God can change their lives for the better. As you relate to God, and live according to his direction, others will notice a difference in you. God has given us the great privilege of sharing his love with others.