There’s a lot we can say about Jesus and what it means to be a Christian, but if we are making the attempt to be the church, to be Jesus to the world, then we as Christians need to make sure these phrases are popular ones in our everyday conversations. Here are five things to say everyday…
1. I love you.
We just can’t say I love you enough. Say it to your family, your friends, and to strangers. God is most exemplified in our love for each other. Life is short, don’t miss an opportunity to let someone know how much they matter to you. Love, love, love.
2. I’m sorry/I forgive you.
Let’s be honest here, we mess up a lot. We are human and failure comes with the territory. We say the wrong things at the wrong time, we let our emotions get the best of us, and we are jerks when we don’t mean to be. Apologize. When you’ve screwed up and you know it, tell the person you’ve wronged, hurt, or been a jerk to. Don’t let pride stand between you and another person. No matter how hard it may be.
Likewise, forgive others when they make a mistake or hurt you. Don’t shy away from trying to make things right with people if you can. It’s hard to get around the emphasis Jesus puts on forgiving others:
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:14-15
Forgiveness may not come naturally, but the quicker we can get in the habit the more often others will see Jesus in us.
3. How can I help?
Put others first. Help carry groceries, hold the door open, listen when someone needs to share something, buy someone a meal, etc… It’s often in these opportunities to serve that the door is opened to talk about what God has done in your life. Serve, but don’t make a big deal about it in front of other people. Make sure everything you do is done without any strings attached.
4. There is hope.
There are so many people out there who are overwhelmed with life. We will all feel the weight of struggle, pain, and loss at some point or another. Let someone know that they are not alone. Tell them there is hope in Jesus. That there is more to life than pain and suffering.
5. I am not perfect.
All too often people who don’t follow Jesus expect Christians to have it all together. We all know that is not the case, not by a long shot. If we were perfect then we wouldn’t need Jesus. We all fail. We all screw up. We all are selfish. We are not perfect, but we are following Jesus – who is. It’s crazy God chooses to love even the worst of us, but God is in the business of redemption. Don’t pretend to have it all together. Share your failures and your successes so that people can see what this perfect Jesus can do in their life too.
Be real. Be honest. Be love.
I realize this list isn’t comprehensive and that there are a ton of other things we can say to others to help us exemplify Jesus. What would you add to this list? Would you make something more of a priority than another?