The largest population of Christians in the world resides in the United States. In 2021, 63% of the U.S. population identified themselves as followers of Christ. The early followers of Jesus were given the term Christian, and they are still referred to with the same name. When it comes to being a Christian, many aspects come into play. However, it is not limited to going to church, performing rituals, or keeping up with rules and regulations; it’s about developing a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Christians are expected to have a spiritual relationship with God by developing friendship with Jesus Christ and knowing him. It is indeed the doorway to getting closer to God. A follower must commit to following Jesus to discover their relationship with God.
To put it in simple words, a Christian is anyone who commits to the teachings of Jesus Christ and follows them. We’ve developed a list of characteristics that make individuals identify themselves as Christians.
A Christian Behaves like Jesus Christ
Those who put faith in the work of Jesus Christ must trust and replicate it in behavior. But, what exactly is meant by behaving like Jesus Christ?
The behavior of a Christian reflects, mirrors, and resembles Christ and his characteristics. You should be merciful and gracious to others. Behaving like Christ also refers to loving, forgiving, and praying for the enemies; striving for justice; and caring for vulnerable, abused, poor, orphaned, widowed, underprivileged, needy, and sick. Moreover, being like Jesus means serving and welcoming the marginalized group of the society.
However, what makes someone a Christian is not limited to doing good work and pleasant outward behavior, as the condition of our heart while performing the deeds matters the most. Being a follower and supporter of Jesus extends beyond our acts, but the intention with which they are performed is crucial.
A Christian Love Others as Jesus Loves Us
A follower of Christ must love others that are underprivileged, needy, and living in absolute poverty. Such people in our society are often oppressed and exploited. Children specifically that are struggling to survive in this cruel world do not get to experience their childhood innocence. They struggle to survive, which impacts their physical and emotional well-being.
Jesus has taught everyone to be compassionate and loving towards such community members and extend their hand by providing the needful. This may include providing support from caring adults, education opportunities, clean water accessibility, nourishing food, and medical care.
A Christian must extend a hand of compassion to every person that comes across as needy; love them in the name of Jesus. Doing this will help you develop an eternal relationship with God.
A Christian has a Christian Heart
Having a Christian heart means putting our trust and faith in Jesus Christ, and committing to serve others and him with the whole spirit in our hearts. When you follow Christ, you become a new person with a new mindset and thinking. Christ’s followers seek happiness in the willingness of God in every purpose, desire, and motivation.
As the relationship with Christ nourishes, the pleasures and joys of our lives are expanded exponentially. As a result, we only seek to honor God instead of going after worldly pursuits and selfish desires.
The New Testament describes ‘Faith’ as a genuine response to God’s grace. You must accept God’s work and receive the gift of salvation to become a good Christian. You must commit your life to Jesus and enter a spiritual relationship with him through worship, Bible reading, and prayers.
John 16:13-14 teaches, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth…he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
Once we commit to Christ, we learn to love God through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit then works within us and molds us into righteous Christians. How we come to Christ isn’t important, but come we must!
A Christian Live With Gratitude to God
Living a life full of gratitude to God is what makes an individual a genuine Christian.
Obedience to God’s law is an opportunity to thank for His blessings as expressed in the Ten Commandments. This obedience isn’t about seeking God’s approval but showing Him love and appreciation.
Gratitude frees us from constantly worrying about our performance as Christians. Instead of focusing on becoming good enough, gratitude helps express joy in serving God. A life lived with gratitude is considered an opportunity to serve the Lord. Christians, being the followers of Christ, should show gratitude to God by worshipping him, reading the Bible, interacting with neighbors, and performing well at jobs.
Moreover, they should be treating their families kindly, bearing witness to their faith, using their leisure time, participating in community growth, and spending money righteously.
Our Final Thoughts
There are no specific rituals that make someone a Christian. Being a Christian also involves thanking God through your efforts and sharing his compassion and love with the world. These efforts may include inviting people to church, working for justice, donating blood, providing hospitality, tutoring a child, welcoming a newcomer, or volunteering for community services. One must act like a Christian with true intentions rather than just portraying certain behavior as instructed. It’s the heart’s condition that counts, and not only the act itself.
You can ensure personal development as a Christian by implementing the aforementioned practices. Of course, incorporating these practices in your daily routine isn’t something you can do in one day. However, becoming a good Christian is less of a goal and more of a process that will eventually improve your faith and behavior.