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Each one of us is a part of the Body of Christ. As Christians, we are called to be holy and follow in His steps; this means both immense responsibilities and a great opportunity for growth in Him. It means that we are to be a reflection of Christ.

When we represent Christ in us, It’s essential that God lives inside of us, wanting to radiate out from our words (thoughts), attitudes & actions, and how we love others as He loves us.

God wants to empower us as we talk, live, and think. He desires His Word to flow out of our mouths into this sin-sickened world desperately in need of spiritual healing!

That is a description of what we read about in the New Testament. People showing the reflection of Christ in a Christ-less world.

We were saved to spend the rest of our lives as a reflection of Christ. Our reflection of Him is the closest thing to Christ that most will ever see.

Think about that for a moment.  If someone doesn’t know Jesus, they can see our reflection of Christ in how we treat them, love them and be His hands and feet on earth. Wow, that is a significant thought. 

image of Jesus on cross reflecting in water with the text What it Means to be a Reflection of Christ and 5 Ways to Be One

Let’s consider this following truth: 

Living as a Reflection of Christ IS Possible 

God has charged us with living a Christ-reflecting life, no matter what the world or society may be like around us. That call to be a reflection of Christ in our lives has been the same for every believer from Adam and Eve onward.

Let’s look at two men who did just that.

Joseph did in Egypt. 

Four thousand years ago in ancient Egypt, a young man named Joseph lived out his life with such spiritual reflection that even though he was sold into slavery and away from family, there were those who said that the Spirit of God was in him.

And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?

Genesis 41:38 (ESV)

Daniel did in Babylon. 

Daniel also lived in such a way that 2,500 years ago, as a prisoner of war, he was carried away captive by the army that slaughtered his people and destroyed his nation. He stood reflecting God before the King of  Babylon. 

I have heard of you that the spirit of the gods is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you.

Daniel 5:14 (ESV)

That leads us to Colossian 3:12-14 and this truth:

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Colossians 3:12-14

We Can Be a Reflection of Christ in Difficult Times or Surroundings

When we reflect Christ in any way, it is proof of the grace God has shown us. Only He can turn stained and fallen creatures like ourselves into a beautiful reflection of Christ.

We are all divinely handed the opportunity to be a reflection of Christ, but it’s up to us whether we want Him to be seen in us.

If Christ is not seen in our life by people around us, it is because we don’t want Him to be, not because God cannot shine through us. We must want to be a reflection of Christ.We must ask to be reflections of His grace and power. That is what Paul explained to the Colossians. 

How We Can Be a Reflection of Christ In a Harsh, Difficult World

The world of the New Testament was not a soft and comfy place. It’s tough times like hard-hitting physical labor, hunger for food or water (just to mention three), and constant danger from enemies who want nothing more than your life.

The Roman culture was not known for being gentle. On the contrary, they delighted in power, might, and crushing defeats of enemies with harshness that slowly wore away at them over time.

We are living in a cold and cruel time. One where we either reflect the culture around us or be a reflection of Christ.

Think over this past week:

Who did you reflect most clearly this past week? The world or Christ?

Did you reflect Christ in your behavior and attitude? In your words?

Were you a reflection of Christ in your compassion for the poor, needy, rejected, hungry, or the harsh world around us?

Evil company corrupts good manners, as Paul said in 1 Corinthians, quoting a Greek poet. Christ’s command to show compassion and love for others is often forgotten in our day-to-day lives.

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

1 Corinthians 15:33 (ESV)

Here in the city where Roman culture is centered, Paul speaks of compassion.

Compassion Comes By Putting on and Reflecting Christ

We can find compassion by embracing Christ’s desires for us. Paul calls this “putting on” or wearing our faith in tangible form and wanting what God wants so much that we ask Him to change us.

When I allow the compassion of Jesus Christ to flow through me, it fills up every part of my being and motivates action.

Surrendering to the Holy Spirit is like driving a car. When driving, if we want a new driver, we pull the car to the side of the road. Then stop and put the car in park. 

Then we take out the keys, get out, walk around to the passenger side and allow another driver to sit behind the wheel. Then as we hand over the keys and seat belt in, we are being driven by another. In the life of a believer, that Another is God. When He is allowed to drive, He displays Christ and enable us to be a reflection of Christ.

Let’s return to life during Colossians 3. A professor at Dallas Seminary described the first Century this way:

“Taxes were high; wages were low, hypocrisy was rampant; honesty was rare. Freedom was gone; Roman rule was hard. The rich were getting richer; the poor were always struggling. Morality was ebbing; rebellion was brewing; cruelty was reigning.”

When Paul wrote to Romans in his letter to the Colossian church, he urged them to “put on Christ” in very powerful ways. One way to live out the truths of this scripture is what we read in Isaiah 58. God there explains how we should:

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all, these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Colossians 3:112-14 (ESV)

We are to demonstrate Christ’s love for the poor, needy, outcast & afflicted in the world around us.

if you pour yourself out for the hungry

    and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,

then shall your light rise in the darkness

    and your gloom is as the noonday.

Isaiah 58:10 (ESV)

God calls us to be loving and compassionate towards those around us. This is one way that you can show your love for God and be a reflection of Christ in action by helping someone else out when they need it most!

Not everyone was responsible for beating and leaving a man dead along the road. Just those who traveled that road.

We must never forget that our love and compassion for those that God puts in our path is contagious.

God has designed a plan for your life – it’s not just about me. The hope of glory, Christ in you. That’s what Paul hoped to share in His letter.

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Colossians 1:27 (ESV) 

Compassionate People Are a Reflection of  Christ

In this sin-filled world, we still find God’s grace. When we seek Him, and we become a reflection of Christ, He provides us with living water to quench our thirst and moisten dry earth!

In a world covered in darkness, we are vessels of light. We are reflecting the Light of the World Who lives in us.

In this sin-covered starving world, we share the Bread of Life Who lives in us.

In this sin-enslaved world, we know the Truth who lives within us and can guide others to how He can set them free.

In this world blinded by sin, our sight has been restored by Jesus, and we want to share His touch with others so they may be turned from darkness to light.  

God Promises to Bless His Children

God’s love is the most crucial thing in our lives, and He loves to bless His children. Through his Spirit, we are given tangible blessings that show His overpowering presence and love for us.

Each of these blessings is a reflection of Christ in us, shining through us and flowing out of us. It isn’t us. It is never about us.

Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,

    and your healing shall spring up speedily;

your righteousness shall go before you;

    the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

Isaiah 58:8a (ESV)

Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,

Isaiah 58:8a (ESV)

We can call this state “Enlightened Living.” It’s what Jesus talked about when He said that if you followed His commands to ”not walk in darkness” but instead have light-of life.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12 (ESV)

and your healing shall spring up speedily;

Isaiah 58:8b (ESV)

We can call this the Strengthened Living that Jesus spoke of when He promised in the Gospels to all that follow Him, that they would like Him “have food to eat that you do not know about….”

But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”

John 4:32 (ESV)

image of The Cross of Jesus Christ and beautiful clouds for the post on reflection of Christ

your righteousness shall go before you;

Isaiah 58:8c (ESV)

We can call this the Holy Living that Jesus spoke of when He promised in the Gospels to all that follow Him, that they would  “hunger and thirst for righteousness.”

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Matthew 5:6 (ESV)

the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

Isaiah 58:8d (ESV)

We can call this the Secured Living that Jesus spoke of when He promised in the Gospels to all that follow Him that they would know that  “behold, I am with you always….”

 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20 (ESV)

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;

    you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’

If you take away the yoke from your midst,

    the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,

Isaiah 58:9 (ESV)

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;

    you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’

Isaiah 58:9a (ESV)

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

John 15:16 (ESV)

We can call this the Godward Living that Jesus spoke of when He promised in the Gospels to all that follow Him that they would find that    “whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

And the Lord will guide you continually

Isaiah 58:11a (ESV)

We can call this the Confident Living that Jesus spoke of when He promised in the Gospels to all that follow Him that they would have “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you….”

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John 14:27 (ESV)

And the Lord will guide you continually

    and satisfy your desire in scorched places

    and make your bones strong;

and you shall be like a watered garden,

    like a spring of water,

    whose waters do not fail.

Isaiah 58:11b (ESV)

The form you have selected does not exist.

Isaiah 58:11b (ESV) satisfy your desire in scorched places

We can call this the Satisfied Living that Jesus spoke of when He promised in the Gospels to all that follow Him that they would have “have life and have it abundantly.…”

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

John 10:10 (ESV)

and make your bones strong;

and you shall be like a watered garden,

    like a spring of water,

    whose waters do not fail.

Isaiah 58:11c (ESV)

We can call this the Renewed Living that Jesus spoke of when He promised in the Gospels to all that follow Him, that they would have “be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.…”

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

John 6:35 (ESV)

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

John 7:37-38 (ESV)

Putting On Christ Allows us to be Reflections of Christ

The blessings we have in our lives are just a reflection of Christ living inside us and shining through.

It isn’t us. It is never about us.

Are you a reflection of Christ or this world?

In the Old Testament is Christ concealed, in the New Testament is Christ revealed.

How are you a reflection of Christ Today?

You may enjoy this pictorial documentary of the reflection of Christ:

https://youtu.be/-zU9BpX44As

5 Ways to Be a Reflection of Christ

As I’ve been thinking about the qualities that set godly believers apart – the qualities I want to shine in my own life – I’ve found five things that can help us be a more accurate reflection of Christ to our world.

1. Spend more time with Jesus

As we spend time with Jesus, He will integrate into our lives and make us more like Him.

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

Acts 4:13 (ESV)

2. Ask the Holy Spirit to change you from the inside out

Jesus knew that if we want to be more like him, then it is time for us all make some changes in our lives. He told people who were following him not to just rely on what they are doing but rather ask God for his help so He could fill them with the fruit of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.… Galatians 5:22-23a (ESV)

3. Show a genuine interest in others

In a world filled with people more interested in taking the best selfies, ask God to give you a genuine interest in getting to know others. Talk less about yourself and do more listening. Ask God to see people through his eyes. And a heart to love them as He does.

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 

1 John 3:16-18 (ESV)

4. Make yourself available

Jesus was always willing to be interrupted. He also had an infectious quality that made people want be around him for no matter how busy He got with other tasks demanding attention at the time.

I pray for the willingness to stop what I’m doing now and tangibly love others – even if there are many things vying for my focus.

5. Give God the glory

If we want to live like Jesus, then it’s important that the Lord always be at center. When He works in and through our lives, let’s give Him all of the credit; when things go wrong or fail altogether – as they often will — let us humble ourselves before Him by trusting fully into His capable hands and still giving Him glory! In everything you do And anytime– Praise eternal!!!

“Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.

Luke 8:39 (ESV)

Let Me Be a Reflection of Christ, Oh, God!

We all have things that are preventing us from being a refelction of Christ. In order to change this, it’s important for us to spend time with Jesus by sitting at His feet or beholding His beauty. This will lead us into looking less like ourselves but rather resembling our Savior greatly as well because when we become like Him we’ll be able to reflect His love to others.

You may also enjoy one of these recommended resources for further study:

Love Without Conditions: Reflections of the Christ Mind by Paul Ferrini

REFLECTIONS OF CHRIST: HYMNS OF OUR SAVIOR VARIOUS ARTISTS 12 SONGS

ESV – “Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

Susan Nelson

Susan is a writer, speaker and the creator of Women of Noble Character ministries. She is passionate about helping Christian women deepen their walk with God through Bible study and creative worship and strengthen their marriages.

She lives in rural North Central Missouri with her handsome and hilarious husband and a myriad of dogs, cats and chickens.

Susan runs on Jesus, coffee and not enough sleep.

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