Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:9–10
What does living like a Christian look like? Is there a to-do list? Is there a three-step, or seven-step, or twelve-step program for following Jesus? The answer to these questions can be both “yes” and “no.” There are so many different ways to follow Jesus, it is difficult to prescribe a specific path. In fact, if you look at Jesus as he is represented in the Gospels, you can see Jesus offering different advice to different people about how to live more faithfully.
In the twelfth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans, Paul offered his own list of Christian pursuits that are fairly clear and quite inspiring. Let your love be genuine. Extend hospitality to strangers. Live in harmony with one another. Care for the poor. Take care of your enemies as if they were your friends. This is a list of steps that could benefit anyone wishing to live their life as Jesus urged us to. Are they the right steps or the only steps to faithful Christian living? In the end, following Jesus isn’t just about taking certain well-defined steps—it is about walking in a new direction that takes us away from ourselves and our selfish longings and toward people and a world in need of love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness.
How do you live as a Christian?
Lord, I want a few simple steps to salvation. I want a formula to follow. I want a clearly defined path toward You. I fear, of course, there is no perfectly defined way forward. I just pray that my desire to walk toward You and with You is enough for You to enter into my life and guide my steps. In your name, I pray. AMEN.