Saturday, October 25, 2014

Representing Christ to the World and to our Mentees

Whether we become active relational mentors or not, as Christian women we represent Christ to the world. People are watching our behaviors, our attitudes, and everything we say and do. This is especially true of our mentees who are looking to us for the answers in certain situations.They are also determining if we are really living for Christ. So,we are to role-model Christ-like attributes for our mentees. But in order to do so, we must know what they are.Then we must work at acquiring these Christ-like attributes and values for ourselves.

Most things in life aren't just handed to us on a platter and neither are the attributes of Christ-likeness. After our Salvation, we have to “seek” or try to acquire Christ-like attributes and values in our pursuit of Christ-likeness.These attributes and virtues do not happen automatically, although the Holy Spirit does give us the desire for them and the desire to live and love as Christ would want us to live and love. However, most of us start out our new life in Christ as if we are in the first grade. This means we have to start at the beginning to learn how we are to live and represent Christ; doing this by studying the Word of God, by attending church, and by developing our relationship with Christ through prayer and communication.We also need to work at listening to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is through dedicated study and our desire to become more Christ-like that we can actually start to learn how to live our lives for Christ.

Christian mentors can be of great help for a newly “Saved” person, because they can help the new believer study and learn about Christ and the Holy Spirit at the mentee's own pace and in a one-on-one teaching atmosphere. Christian mentors can also help their mentees learn about Christ-like values and attributes by teaching and role-modeling them. How do mentors acquire or cultivate Christ’s attributes and values? First we have to recognize what those attributes and values are that Christ expressed and role-modeled for His disciples and the world. It is by reading the Bible that we can discover Christ's attributes and values.We can acquire godly virtues and values by studying the Word of God and then applying the Word to our lives. By taking heed of the help and guidance offered to us by the Holy Spirit along with help offered by other Christian mentors, we can develop those Christian attributes and values that we need. God has given all of us the ability to acquire those same virtues expressed by Christ when we asked Christ to come into our lives and cleanse our hearts from all our sins. We are now able to recognize all the vile evil and ugliness that is in the world.

Christians should allow Christ to control our lives for the good, which in turn means we cannot let Satan and the world's influence back into our lives. Because we live in a fallen world we are constantly inundated with worldly ideas and things that try to pull us away from living for Christ. So, we must continually work at living for Christ and doing that which is right and true with a loving and gracious heart. Our walk with Christ is a journey. True "born-again" Christians never stop learning and should never stop working at becoming even more Christ-like. (Did you know that the word "Christian" means "little Christs"?). We all need strengthening. Even long-time believers may need mentoring to be strengthened in their walk for Christ just as new believers are strengthened through mentoring. ARCM is for every woman whether you are the mentor or the mentee.

We Must Allow Christ to Control Both our Inner and Outer Lives. In order to completely relinquish all the old fleshly and worldly ways, we must allow Christ to control not only our inner thoughts and desires, but control any outer actions that might represent those inner thoughts and desires.  That sounds complicated, but it really isn't. With our Salvation, comes a desire to live for Christ and a desire to obey Christ. In fact, Christ said, “You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying My teachings. And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.”  -- (John 8: 32). [i]

We are all searching for the Truth of God whether we realize it or not. When we accept Christ into our hearts, we have a change of heart for the better.We no longer have to be controlled by evil thoughts and worldly ways, because we have the Holy Spirit who will help us get rid of evil and negative thoughts and ways, if we listen and obey. However, we still have to deal with the world we live in, and no matter how hard we try we are inundated with things that can cause us to backslide or be negative. However, if we continually allow the Holy Spirit to direct both our inner thoughts and our outer actions we can live a Christ-like life for all to see. It is with our outward actions and attitudes, that people can really tell whether or not we have truly accepted Christ as our Savior. It is with our outward actions and attitudes that mentees will or will not decide to allow us to mentor them.

It is our outward actions, though, that gets most people, both Christian and non-Christians, in trouble. That is because; it is often our outward actions that tell the world more about us than we think. For example, let’s say that a woman named Victoria has accepted Christ as her Savior. She now has a love for not only God and Christ in her heart, but also believes she has love for her neighbors or fellowman as well. Then one day a friend tells her she is going through a rough time. Victoria verbally sympathizes and tells her she will pray for her, but does nothing more. She even forgets to pray. A month later a co-worker tells Victoria that she is very sick and won’t be able to take her daughter to the dress rehearsal for her play. Victoria again sympathizes but does nothing. Oh, Victoria has a twinge of guilt, and the Holy Spirit puts her friend on her heart every few hours or so, but Victoria ignores His still small voice. She knows that she could offer to take the daughter to the dress rehearsal, but she has other things she wants to do. You see, Victoria is not allowing Christ to control her outer life and actions. Moreover, her inner thoughts of selfishness have shown us outwardly what she is really feeling or thinking by her refusal to step up and help someone in need. She may think that her Salvation is all she needs, and that now that she is “Saved,” she doesn't have to do anything more. However, Christ wants us to care about each other; showing Christ-like love for all. Indeed, it is by our outward actions that our care for others and Christian love is shown. Christian women need to show other women, even if they aren't our mentees, that we care. We need to remember that it is what we say and do outwardly that shows the intent and the desires of the heart. Even our words, which are extremely powerful in witnessing to others about the Gospel message, can be used to hurt others, whether intentionally or unintentionally.As Christian women we have a responsibility to use our words carefully and be guided by love, graciousness and Christ-likeness.

We not only need to listen to Christ’s Words, but we should obey Him. Jesus is the Truth that sets us free! (See John 8: 32). When we truly allow Christ to control our inner thoughts and desires, which are represented by our outer actions, we are putting our complete trust in the Lord. Christ is able to use our outer actions and reactions as well as our loving attitudes to witness for Him and to serve Him in the most efficient and advantageous ways. Then, we do not have to wonder what we should be doing for the Lord or how we can be of greater service. Instead, we know we are allowing Christ’s love, values, and attributes to guide us into caring for and witnessing to those who have not been introduced to the Good News of Christ. In fact, each believer needs to live a life of service to the Lord that expresses the Truth. Jesus is the Truth and the Light.  “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” – (John 3: 21) NASB. Therefore, if we allow the Lord to direct our learning of the Truth and we practice the Truth, we can then follow His Light. The Lord can use our lives to witness for and to serve Him. We can serve the Lord through ARCM. We can become an outward expression of the Truth!

The Apostle Paul told the Ephesians that we are to Live life with a due sense of responsibility, not as those who do not know the meaning of life but as those who do.”  -- (Ephesians 5: 15). [i]  It is that sense of responsibility that is given expression through our actions and outer lives lived for Christ. It is one thing to think good clean thoughts in your mind, but it is something much better when you take those wonderful thoughts and use them for the glory of God and the Kingdom of Heaven. Paul goes on to say, Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days.  Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do.  … Instead let the Holy spirit fill and control you.”  -- (Ephesians 5: 16-18). [ii]

One of the ways that we can “make the most of every opportunity for doing good,” is to be there for others when they are struggling or wanting to learn a new skill, develop a resource, or gain knowledge. We can step up to the plate and mentor another woman for the Lord. Those who have been given the ability to listen or teach or to do both and those who have the wisdom to understand the Word of God should use every opportunity to help someone else when they are in need. If you have the ability to help another for the Lord, then through love try to understand what the Lord would have you do and let the Holy Spirit direct and control your life. Of course you have free will in what you do with your life. But in listening to the Holy Spirit and by working at obtaining Christ-like attributes and values as you live outwardly for the Lord, you may find that you can also be a great Christian mentor for the Lord!

[i] -- Ephesians 5: 15.  New Testament in Modern English. Macmillian Company, c. 1958.
[ii] -- Ephesians 5: 16-18.  The Life Application Study Bible: New Living Translation. Tyndale House. c. 1996.

[i] -- John 8: 32.  The Life Application Study Bible: New Living Translation. Tyndale House, c. 1996.

No comments:

Post a Comment