So, I recently posted my list of 5 things that Christians should really stop doing… but what about things that Christians SHOULD do in order to be successful in their walk with Christ? You’ve probably all heard of Stephen Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, but what about 7 Habits for the effective Christian? Hold on, hopefully that is not already a book… So, I’ve decided to include my ideas here:
1) A Successful Christian Will Pray – Prayer is the cornerstone of the Christian faith and it is from this practice and this discipline that the rest of our life flows. When we pray we become intricately connected to God’s plan and we become more aware of His love for us. The Bible reminds us to pray at all times (without ceasing). It reminds us to pray in every circumstance because God will take care of us. Lastly, the Scriptures remind us that because God is love He wants us to come to Him with our requests. In the story of the Persistent Widow, the Judge was an ungodly man who didn’t care about anyone’s welfare other than his own. This widow came to him day and night and wore him out. Finally, the judge said, “I really don’t care about this woman or what she wants. I just want her to go away. I’m not answering her request because I want what’s best for her, but she’s worn me out with the same request so I’ll answer it so she can leave me alone.” Jesus reminds us that if that judge, being evil, did this for the woman, how much more will our Heavenly Father provide for our needs when we pray, but how many of us actually take Him up on that offer?
2) A Successful Christian Knows They Can’t Do It On Their Own Strength – A successful Christian is one who understands that God’s grace is magnified and perfected in their weakness. At the end of the day when they survey their lives they see instances of God’s faithfulness and understand that they could never have made it through without His guidance and support. A successful Christian can acknowledge this and humble themselves before God in order to be raised up by Him.
3) A Successful Christian Shares Their Burdens With the Community – Successful Christians know that they can’t do it on their own, they need others. The book of James reminds us that when we are happy we should gather people around us to sing happy songs with us, when we are sick we should call the elders of the church to anoint us with oil. Bringing others on board is a way of receiving help and giving them the opportunity to care for us just like we want to take care of others.
4) A Successful Christian Meditates On Scripture – David often meditated on God’s Word. He tells of how he mused about God’s deeds. The book of Ephesians reminds us that God’s Word helps us to fight against the evil schemes of the Devil. Someone who is successful in their walk with the Lord allows Scripture to pour into their lives, they memorize it, they think about it when they go to bed at night and when they wake up. They also teach their children to follow the Bible.
5) A Successful Christian Follows God’s Will On Their Lives – A person who is successful in their walk with the Lord tries to discover God’s will in their lives. They are so in tuned with Him that when they start going the wrong way, God’s voice gently redirects them back into the right path. A person who is living for Christ wants to put God in charge of their lives and to value His will even before their own desires.
6) A Successful Christian Belongs To A Larger Body (Church) Which Helps Encourage Them and Builds Them Up – Successful Christians know that they cannot grow on their own. They know they need Scriptural teaching, encouragement from others who have walked in the faith for a lot longer than they have, and corporate worship. The book of Hebrews cautions us to not give up regularly meeting together as some are in the habit of doing. Some Christians believe that they can grow on their own, but without having people to walk alongside you and encourage you when you start feeling weary, your faith and love for God will soon grow stagnant and cold.
7) A Successful Christian Seeks First After God’s Kingdom – Successful Christians know that God will provide for them so they don’t have to worry about where their life is headed. Paul reminds us not to worry about anything, but instead with prayer and supplication to make our requests known to God. Jesus also says in the Sermon on the Mount that we don’t have to worry about any earthly needs because God knows about them and will provide for them, but instead we should SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD and the rest will fall into place. NOTE: This does not mean we shouldn’t be good stewards. Paul reminds us to leave no debt outstanding. A successful Christian will practice good financial budgeting and stewardship principles, but in the end of the day they will also know that their help comes from the Lord.
BONUS: A Successful Christian Has At Least One Accountability Partner – Successful Christians open themselves up to respectful correction of others who are stronger and have walked longer in their faith. A successful Christian accepts discipline knowing that it produces further character growth and morality. A successful Christian also gives themselves the opportunity to correct erring brothers and sisters with the hope that they can win such a person back to their faith.