To be a proper Christian, we must have the right attitudes and ambitions, and not only the right actions. Those who have a bitter and hard heart will eventually be exposed. God cleanses our heart and we must always pray to God for a clean heart, Psalm 51:10. In examining our hearts, let’s look at three “rights” every Christian must have.
The Right Attitude
It is so easy to develop a heart that is full of pride and covetousness. Instead we should have the same attitude as “Jesus Christ, who being in very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. Taking the very nature of a servant, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on the cross” Philippians 2:5-8. In order to be a Christian, we must have a Christ-like attitude of service. “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” Matthew 20:28. When we find ourselves with an attitude of bitterness and deceit, we are not where God desires for us to be in life. We must develop within ourselves as attitude of genuine love towards others.
The Right Ambitions
Christians must live to serve others and not themselves. Paul reminded the Galatians, “You were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love” Galatians 5:13. Christianity is not about getting my way or making myself look good, it is about promoting the good of every person in the church. The way you serve people is to build them up, express appreciation for them and encourage them. It’s not about manipulating them with praise to gain their cooperation but rather genuinely seeking to edify others in all that you say and do. This takes a grace filled heart of love that genuinely cares for and values people. We must love others because that reflects the love that God has for us. In Christ, our primary goal must be to help others and to see them succeed and mature.
The Right Actions
Christians show their love for God in their love for the brethren. Jesus said, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves” Luke 22:25-27. As Christians we must avoid the feeling of being superior to others and instead look for ways to quietly be a servant. In meekness, we should look to lift others up and give others the credit for the things that go well. When we attain the right attitude and ambitions, it will be seen in our actions as we serve others.