How to Be a Better Christian
Do you consider yourself a mediocre Christian? Do you feel like your Christianity is more of a label than a way of life? How can you be a better Christian?
“How can I become a better Christian?”
Have you asked yourself that? Every year, hundreds of people search for an answer to that question.
This implies that there are many people who identify as Christian, but wonder whether they are truly living up to that label. Are you in that category? Do you consider yourself a Christian but feel like you’re not really living the Christian faith?
The purpose of this post is to provide concrete insight into how you can be a better Christian in your everyday life.
How can you become a better Christian?
Seven ways to be a better Christian
1. Be a better Christian by spending more time reading and studying the Bible.
During His wilderness encounter with Satan, Jesus provided one of the greatest keys to becoming a better Christian. He said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus was referring to the inspired words of God—the Bible.
Years later, the apostle Paul likened God’s Word to a spiritual sword that enables a Christian to battle against the dark influences of this world (Ephesians 6:17).
If you want to be a better Christian, the first place to start is by scheduling time every day to read and study the Bible. You can live “by every word of God” (Luke 4:4) by actively reading and learning what it says.
2. Be a better Christian by taking time to pray every day.
Prayer is a form of communication with God. Through it, we express to Him our thankfulness, our needs, our desires, our problems and our general thoughts.
To grow in our relationship with God, we must learn how to pray the way the Bible teaches.But there are many incorrect ideas and approaches to prayer in the world. To grow in our relationship with God, we must learn how to pray the way the Bible teaches.
During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus provided a general outline for prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). Jesus used this outline as a model, or an example—not just as words to repeat verbatim. This teaching provides an excellent starting point to build your prayer life with God.
One topic you may want to pray specifically about is the subject of this post—how to be a better Christian. You can pose that question to God and ask Him to help you, guide you and empower you to become a better Christian.
3. Be a better Christian by intentionally seeking to follow in Jesus Christ’s footsteps.
One of the most basic ways of expressing true Christianity is found in 1 Peter 2:21: “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.”
The Christian calling can be summarized as first learning how Jesus lived and then striving to imitate His example in our day-to-day life.
The four Gospel accounts are a rich source for learning how Jesus walked through both His recorded words and the written descriptions of His acts and conduct.
To become better Christians, we need to study the Gospel accounts closely. We need to scour the scriptures for lessons from Jesus’ words and example that we can put into action in our life. It might be in how He spoke, how He treated other people, how He reacted to being mistreated, how He described the correct way of life, how He prayed, how He worshipped His Father, etc.
As we read of His example, we can ask God to help us understand it more deeply and apply it in our lives. There is no better way to become a better Christian than to grow in following the example of Jesus Christ.
For more insight on Christ’s life and example, follow our ongoing article series “Walk as He Walked.”
4. Be a better Christian by actively serving others.
Christianity can be described as the way of give. Throughout the Bible, we read about the importance of giving. That doesn’t just mean giving your money to others, but also your time, your energy, your prayers, your thoughts and your attention.
The way of give doesn’t just mean giving your money to others, but also your time, your energy, your prayers, your thoughts and your attention.The apostle Paul described it this way: “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35).
Paul worked hard to have the resources to “support the weak”—in other words, those who have needs they can’t fulfill themselves. This way of life is summed up by the powerful truth that we are blessed and happier when we live a life of giving.
James summed up this truth when he wrote that “pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble” (James 1:27). This principle applies to anyone in need.
We can be better Christians by paying attention to the needs of others and being generous in giving of our resources to help them.
For more insight on living this way, read about developing “A Heart of Service.”
5. Be a better Christian by being less influenced by the world around you.
The Bible often uses “the world” to describe the society and culture that surrounds us. Our world is largely influenced by Satan the devil and an overall spirit of selfishness (Ephesians 2:2). Some of the primary characteristics of the influences of our world are listed as “the works of the flesh” in Galatians 5:19-21.
In James 1:27, after encouraging Christians to serve those in need, James also admonished us to “keep oneself unspotted from the world.”
In other words, we must keep ourselves pure and resist the world’s dark influences, which surround us. These include the attitudes, bad language, division, hatred and overall spirit of anger that permeate society. We need to “come out” of these dark influences (Revelation 18:4).
We can be better Christians by becoming more aware of the negative pressures of Satan and this world and working harder to resist them.
For more insight on avoiding the dark influences of our world, read “Come Out of Her, My People.”
6. Be a better Christian by focusing on growing in the “fruit of the Spirit.”
One of the most powerful keys to avoiding the influences of our world is to actively develop the character of God in our lives. The Bible is filled with insights into how to reflect God’s character rather than the characteristics of this world. One of the best places to find a concise list of God’s character is Galatians 5:22-23—the fruit of the Spirit.
These are nine godly characteristics that will develop in the mind and conduct of a Christian who is being led by God’s Holy Spirit. They are:
To study these characteristics in greater detail, read our articles on the fruit of the Spirit.
The more we work at integrating these characteristics into our lives, the less like the world we will be. By growing in them, we will day by day become more like God—which is just another way of saying we will become better Christians.
(It’s important to remember that we can’t fully develop these characteristics through our personal willpower. We need the power of God—His Holy Spirt. To learn more about how to receive God’s Spirit, read “The Miracle in the Mind.”)
7. Be a better Christian by never being content with who you are.
One of the greatest truths found in the Bible is that God wants us to live a life characterized by growth.
This goes all the way back to the Old Testament. In the first Psalm, a servant of God is described as “a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its seasons, whose leaf also shall not wither” (Psalm 1:3). This is poetic language describing growth. Well-watered trees grow and prosper. They are not stagnant.
The theme of growth is carried over into the New Testament and is given even greater emphasis.
The apostle Peter was a powerful advocate for Christian growth.
- He said that Christians need to be like little babies and “desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). We grow by applying this post’s first point and regularly reading and studying God’s Word.
- He wrote a list of eight character traits that Christians need to progressively apply so that they can grow in greater maturity.
- He ended his last letter by admonishing us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
True Christians should never be satisfied with where they are. They should always be learning, developing and progressing.
Living a life of continual growth is one of the greatest keys to becoming a better Christian.
Be a better Christian
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