How Christians are expected to behave in life.
How Christians should act towards their fellow human beings.
It is not “all about me”.
This website’s main objective is to assist readers to build sound Christian faith and apply it to their lives. Engaging with God in that way, allows him to demonstrate his actual presence there. In effect proving he is real; that he does exist and he also loves each one of us.
AND, if all this seems a bit too much for you … say if you are even struggling with the possible existence of God … please begin by reading the article, “Can I really believe in God?”. Trust me on this one: if you are ready to believe, then you can! (I am from a senior auditing background and the majority of my advisory team are Christian clergy. To glimpse the ‘who’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of this website please click here.)
This particular article explains how us Christians are expected to ‘behave’ – within our own lives – towards our fellow human beings. An explanation of Christian ‘attitudes’, for life in general, is also offered under the last heading in this article.
2. JESUS’ RULES FOR US
The previous article, “Christianity explained” highlights the religion’s relationship to “love”. Indeed Jesus provided us with two commandments, based on love. The first was, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.” Then continuing, Jesus added, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” [Luke 10:27]
So we get the message, loud and clear! On both counts – love God; love our fellow human beings. And with regards to our fellow human beings (i.e. “our neighbours”), we are obviously expected to care as much about them as we do about ourselves. We should place other people’s needs on an ‘equal pegging’ with our own.
Love, then, should be a major ‘influencer’ in our day-to-day behaviour as Christians. And ‘spin-offs’ will include improvements to our own general attitude towards life.
3. BEING HONEST AND SINCERE
Yes, God expects us to try our best to be honest, sincere and caring in all our dealings with other people. To freely ‘give’ and ‘forgive’. This relates to all forms of human relationships ranging from friends, family, fellow workers, customers and all the way to perfect strangers.
God’s guidance on these relationships is clearly laid out in the Bible. The article, “Rules, laws and commandments” includes relevant advice.
4. CARING ABOUT OTHERS
Our general behaviour towards our fellow humans should obviously flow from Jesus’ second commandment. We must, for example, be ready to assist any human being who we consider needs our caring help. You know the old saying, “It costs nothing to be kind”. And in fact, it can bring about great change, for individuals and the world as a whole.
Sadly, our Christian principle of deeply caring for, and helping, others in need can actually be in direct conflict with the negative ‘impression’ that so many people have with Christianity. Of course that outlook flows from the ongoing bad behaviour of its bigots, its history of holy wars, sexual abuse of children within the Church etc. These all rest so sadly with our religion of love, and should NEVER be forgotten by us Christians!
Unfortunately many people in the community just plain forget to balance Christianity’s past and present ‘good works’ against those misdeeds.
Just as God himself came to serve his beloved children through self sacrifice, in the ‘person of Jesus‘, so we Christians are called to serve our fellow humans. And committed Christians always seem to be ‘in the thick of it’, trying to help where there is pain, suffering and abuse of others throughout the world as a whole.
It is their commitment to faith, and recognition of the commandment to love one another, that drives these people on. And at times they may even put their own lives at risk. Simply put, it is what Jesus would have done.
5. NOT JUDGING OTHERS
So yes, Christianity should be a religion where its followers judge no one [Matthew 7:1-6, James 4:12]. I offer the example when Jesus was asked whether an adulterous woman should be stoned to death as punishment [John 8:1-11]. What was Jesus’ response? It was perfect, “Let whoever has not sinned, throw the first stone!” Shamed by the answer, the small crowd drifted away leaving Jesus and the woman alone together. Jesus compassionately requested only that the woman ‘change her ways’.
And as Christians, we should have NO reason, to think for a moment, that we are more important or superior to ANY person we come across in everyday life. We should be ready to accept any person, who ‘fronts us’ during our day, as our equal. A gentle smile, or small nod of our head, to someone ‘doing it tough’ can for example positively transform their day. As inferred later in this article, be ‘humble’ to anyone and everyone.
Christianity is about recognising the failings in our own lives, firstly trying to do something about that. We should not be fussing too much about the wrongs in the lives of others.
Again, this is not to say we must accept all wrong committed by others. The laws of our society should be served for instance. And Christians are expected to stand up for the ‘downtrodden’. We should also make a non-violent stand against those who would threaten the lives and souls of our fellow human beings.
6. CHRISTIAN ATTITUDES
Jesus would have absolutely objected to the ‘holier than thou’ attitude held by so many Christians over the centuries. ‘Chest pumping’ and all that! The following verses from both the Bible’s Old Testament and New Testament can in fact offer us sound advice on ‘attitude’: how we should present ourselves to others.
The prophet Micah offered this guidance 700 years before Jesus’ birth:
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Finally, what did Jesus actually have to say about it? Nothing better explains positive ‘Christian attitudes’ than the following verses provided to us by Jesus, referred to as “The Beatitudes”.
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are
persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
It explains how to shape our character, emphasizing humility and purity, for the good of all. God’s blessings for that type of behaviour, in this life and the next, are made clear too. No surprise that it came out of the mouth of Jesus!