You know those little phrases that moms shoot out all throughout childhood?
“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”
“If you’re bored, why don’t you do some dishes?”
“Pretty is as pretty does”
“Kaitlyn, your room is literally a disaster.” (No? Just me?)
My mom also used to tell me to choose my friends wisely because “you act like the people you spend the most time around.” At the time, I took that as her way of saying that she didn’t like one of my friends or that she maybe didn’t like my attitude that day (and honestly, that may have been the case) but her advice holds to be so true.
As I gear up to enter my final year at Baylor and reflect on the growth that has happened in the last three years- I see the truth of that phrase shining through.
My freshman year, I met wonderful people who pushed me academically and spiritually, asking me the hard questions and calling me out when I wasn’t meeting my full potential. My sophomore year, I found friends that taught me how to unwind and find joy in nights of karaoke and mac & cheese. In this last year, I made friends that exemplify selfless love and who each have qualities that I could only pray will rub off on me. My senior year, if it follows suit with the pattern of the previous three, is going to be the best yet.
I say all of this because in examining those relationships I’ve seen where I’ve grown as a person since leaving home. God designed us for community and we can see this in his description of the Church. We are the bride of Christ, created to have the strongest, most intimate and intentional relationship with our Creator. We are the BODY of Christ- meant to be the hands and feet of The Gospel, spreading the Good News to all who will listen.
We are a place for growth, where people of all walks of life are supposed to be encouraged to come for rest and rejuvenation. There is our job description and it’s very relational. As Christians we should seek to push each other towards The Cross and to push each other to be more like Christ. We see these “marching orders” laid out for us again and again throughout scripture (Hebrews 10:24, Romans 12:4-5, Acts 2:46-47).
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Relationships are important. How you interact with your closest friends, your spouse, your children, your parents, even with strangers- that sets the tone for their experience with Christianity. Are you someone their mom would be proud for them to act like?
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
Look at your friends, your significant other, your family and consider this: are you being a Christ-like figure for them? Spend some time in the Word this week re-reading our “job description” as it pertains to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
I’ll be praying for you this week.
Hi, I’m Kaitlyn. I’m a senior at Baylor University, majoring in psychology with hopes of one day being a therapist for children with special needs and developmental disorders. I’m involved with the Peer Leader Program and Baylor’s Student Foundation and I love these organizations because they allow me to serve the student body and give back, as I was loved so well my first two years. These organizations and Baylor as an institution really push me as an individual to love others well and to serve with a heart like Jesus. I truly believe God has called me to serve the underserved and my goal is to point others towards the Gospel in whatever job or place He places me.
This is excellent. I love how you emphasize the impact our behavior in our relationships affects our friends, families, spouses, children, etc in their experience of God. Yes and amen.