For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator. (Colossians 3:10).
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)
I’m not talking about perfection. We have struggles. We have sin. How we respond to struggles and sin speaks loudly about what we believe about God. God is God no matter what we believe, but people who don’t know and believe God see Him in and through us. If we don’t reflect Him well, if we don’t follow Him with authenticity, what message are we sending others?
I’ve watched Christians worry more than non-Christians.
I’ve seen Christians be less generous than non-Christians.
I’ve listened to Christians complain, gossip, and tear down others more than non-Christians.
I’ve seen non-Christians be more Christ-like in actions, just not in Jesus’ name. And it breaks my heart. All of those issues or weaknesses (and a plethora of others) are okay when we’re willing to release them to God and let Him work on us. We all struggle with something. But when they’re chronic, and we cling to them, either ignoring them or rationalizing, we send confusing messages. We say we reflect and follow God, yet our willingness to change betrays what we say we do. If you know you’re not supposed to worry, yet you continue to do so, at the very least, be honest about it. Let people know you struggle with worry but that you are committed to growing through the struggle. If you don’t give as much as you know you should, even though God has challenged you, wrestle with it aloud, sharing the process. If you complain, gossip, and tear others down, when someone confronts you about it and holds you to God’s standards, don’t rationalize your behavior. Be humble. Apologize. Be transparent.
Be willing to let God change you. You might struggle with some of the same issues throughout your life, but they don’t have to control you. Let God work through you, change you, and you will glorify Him as others see you struggle, see God show up, and see the effects He has on your life. If you trust God to change you and let others see Him change you, they just might not expect Him to change them either.