What does a Christian life look like?

Too often Christians have allowed the life of a Jesus-follower to be defined by those things we are against, or those behaviours we seek to avoid.

We have educed our vision of being a Jesus-follower to those who:

Don’t drink
Don’t dance
Don’t smoke
Don’t chew
And never date those girls who do.

This is a desperately inadequate vision of the life Jesus modeled and to which he called those who desired to live the fully human life of their teacher.

The biblical vision of a Christian life is more robust, radical and deeply challenging than the slightly anemic picture of being a “good” person.

Below is the biblical vision of what a Christian life is intended to look like. The following words are all taken directly from the pages of the New Testament. They have been reordered to group them somewhat thematically. The passages from which they come are all cited at the end.

This is a profound and challenging vision of a human life that is vastly more than conventionally well-behaved.

You can read this list of attributes easily in four minutes. Ponder these words; let them grow your vision of what it means to live a truly human life:

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A Biblical Vision of the Christian Life

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.

Let love be genuine.

Clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Love one another with mutual affection.

Let mutual love continue.

Abound in love for one another and for all.

Love your neighbour as yourself.

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Love is patient.

Love is kind.

Love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.

Love does not insist on its own way.

Love is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also.

If anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well.

If anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.

Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and inner strength.

Let your gentleness be known to everyone.

Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness.

Unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Live in harmony with one another.

So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbours, for we are members of one another.

Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.

Be at peace with one another.

Live peaceably with all.

Pursue what makes for peace and for mutual edification.

Bear with one another.

Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

If anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Hold fast to what is good.

Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit.

Serve the Lord.

Rejoice in hope.

Be patient in suffering.

Persevere in prayer.

Contribute to the needs of the saints.

Be hospitable to one another without complaining.

Extend hospitality to strangers.

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers… Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.

Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger

Do not claim to be wiser than you are.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.

Never avenge yourselves

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.

Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have.

Be thankful.

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(Matthew 5:39-42, 18:3,4,22:37-39; Mark 9:50; Romans 12:9-19, 14:19; I Corinthians 13:4-7; Galatians 5:22,23, 6:2; Ephesians 4:1-3, 4:25, 4:31,32; Philippians 2:3,4, 4:,4,5, 4:8; Colossians 3:12-15; I Thessalonians 3:12; I Timothy 6:11; II Timothy 2:22-24; Hebrews 13:1-5; James 1:19,20, 5:16; I Peter 4:9)

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