There is a tendency among Christians to value being a “powerful Christian” – evidencing “signs and wonders’, spiritual manifestations and what some call evidence of “authority.” The problem is, sometimes the kinder, gentler elements of the Christian faith – “the fruit of the Spirit” – evaporate in the quest for “power.” Its tragic because, according to Apostle Paul, “If I speak in then tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [i.e. I’m just a lot of noise]. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing… in fact, I gain nothing!” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
So you see, it’s not enough to be a “powerful Christian” – we also need to be “nice Christians” as well! That’s when our lives will have maximum impact for the cause of Christ! Power and Christ-like persona – Charisma and character – are what is needed!
This morning in my Bible reading during “coffee with the Lord” I was reminded of the need, to be a “nice Christian”… And believe it or not, the inspired comments come from a crusty old fisherman, Simon Peter, who had been transformed by God’s grace…
He said (1 Peter 3:8-12 NLT)… “All of you :should be of one mind [unity among Christians is needed!]! Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when others insult you. Instead pay them back with blessing. That is what God called you to do, and He will grant you His blessing! In fact, the Scriptures say, ‘If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. Remember, the eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and His ears are open to their prayers.’ [quoted from Psalm 34:12-16]”
I don’t know what you want to do today, but I want to be both – genuinely a Holy Spirit empowered Christian AND a loving Christian – I want to give evidence both of God’s power and His character!