As Christians, it’s made pretty clear to us that we are supposed to use our lives to introduce people to God. All throughout the Bible, we see commands like, “Whatever you do, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,” and “Let your light shine before men,” or “Work as for the Lord and not for men.” These are all good, Biblical goals that I pray can be true for each of us. But on a small scale, in our day-to-day lives, what does it look like to truly show people Jesus?
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
- Colossians 3:12-13 NIV
Here in Colossians 3, a section titled, “Put on the New Self,” or “Living as Those Made Alive in Christ,” we are given a description of 5 major God-reflecting attributes in the new heart of a Christian. Below are 5 practical ways to put each of those attributes into action.
1. Smile (Kindness)
Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.
- Psalm 34:5 ESV
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
-2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV
In a world full of darkness, it is so important for Christians to allow the light of Jesus to shine through us, and one of the ways we can do that is by sharing our joy with others through a smile. This may seem like such a small gesture, but it can make a world of difference.
2. Listen (Compassion)
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger… James 1:19 ESV
Compassion is defined as “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress with the desire to alleviate it” (Merriam-Webster). Learning to listen instead of using our own words to drown out others is a great way to connect with our neighbors’ needs. We can’t know how to serve, encourage, or pray for our friends (alleviating distress) if we never truly hear them.
3. Choose your words wisely (Gentleness)
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. - Ephesians 4:29 ESV
One of the greatest changes I’ve seen Jesus make in my own heart is replacing words of selfish haste or negativity with others-focused gentleness and positivity. Words that build up, give life, and remind of God-given value are some of the sweetest gifts we can give, especially in a world that is constantly pushing, demeaning, or discouraging.
4. Give grace (Patience)
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love. -Ephesians 4:2 NLT
Someone cuts you off in traffic? Give grace. Someone cuts in line at Kroger when you’ve been waiting for 10 minutes? Give grace. Someone cuts to your heart with a snarky comment? Give grace. Our Christian identity is rooted in love-saturated forgiveness from a holy God; may we not forget that when we feel wronged in even the smallest ways.
5. Do the little things (Humility)
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others - Philippians 2:3-4 ESV
Maybe this means clearing dishes at the dinner table, offering to get refills, carrying a grocery bag, giving someone a ride, or cleaning up a spill. Sometimes doing the small things, or even just the routine things that people aren’t always excited about doing, can say “You matter, you are worth my time, and I care about you.” Serving in small ways (and big ways) is a valuable way to show people Jesus because, after all, “Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
...Above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
- Colossians 3:14 NIV
“And by this we know love, that He laid down his life for us, and we also ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” (1 John 3:16). May we follow in the footsteps of our Savior today and live a life of selfless love, laying down our conveniences and pride for the sake of others, that they may see a glimpse of our great God through our words and actions.