by Cypriana R. Parkinson | article – April 21 Magazine
If you have ever watched a basketball game and experienced the crowd’s reaction after a slam dunk you would realize that it is one filled with much excitement, laughter and cheers. It is almost impossible for the supporters in the stands to keep their composure because of the overwhelming pride and positive emotions felt for the actual players and their victory. But if we flip this scenario to a heavenly view with Jesus as our supporter and ourselves as the players, can we truly depict our lives as a slam dunk moment with resounding applause and cheers from above?
What is a life that demonstrates Christ?
A life demonstrating Christ speaks to our character, actions and our very being and which imitates (Ephesians 5:1-2) and replicates Christ’s lifestyle. In order to do this Romans 12:2 (CEV) tells us that we should offer our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. We should not be like the people of this world, but rather let God change the way we think. In a world surrounded by social/generational traditions and religions, it easy to get wrapped up in the varying opinions of what is considered to be a life that reveals Christ. Whether it be good over evil, love over hate and charity over selfishness, the list goes on. Yes, a replicated Christ-like life involves a mixture of these attitudes, but before all these actions are displayed a transformation of the heart/mind must take place first. “How does this transformation take place?” By becoming God-centered, staying in the secret place reserved for those who love and obey God.
Ways in which our life can demonstrate Christ
Our life demonstrates Christ through our godly character and integrity which is achieved through our testing and trials, not just in the happy moments surrounded other individuals. James, the Apostle (James 1:2-4) reminds us to be glad, knowing that we learn to endure by having our faith tested and after enduring everything we will be completely mature and not lacking in anything. In this way, we are able to exhibit God’s perfect ways through our actions whether it be at work, home, and throughout our daily life, not locked away from the world. In sharing our struggles, a simple smile or common courtesy is valued as a generous deed to those we are familiar or unfamiliar with.
Learning the gameplay for a clear “Slam Dunk”
In order to master the game called life, we must first understand there are rules and regulations. In its simplest form we must gain knowledge and understanding of the Five Knows:
Knowing our opponent: In this life, we do not wrestle against people but against other spirits, forces, authorities and rulers in a spiritual world (Ephesians 6:12)
Knowing our weaknesses and strengths: Acknowledge our weaknesses, for in it God is made strong. For example If your weakness is anger, walk away from confrontations until the Holy Spirit has taught you how to control your strong feeling of displeasure and to reason in a positive way.
Knowing the technique (our position/posture): We must learn to seek God first in all things and pray for His instructions through the Holy Spirit, then follow accordingly, not by our own free will or emotions.
Knowing our required diet: We must practice praying proactively and expectantly, read the word of God intentionally, practising it devotedly, doing God’s will and fast faithfully.
Knowing we are to always keep our eyes on the target: Our target is Jesus Christ our Lord, God in the flesh who came to earth as an example for us.
A common phrase, ‘action speaks louder than words’ hits the centre mark to slam dunk and only then will we truly see and know if we are indeed reflecting Christ. Let us not only be hearers but doers of the word ( James 1:22) so that in the sight of others we demonstrate the love of God that we have experienced in private.