Turning Points Magazine & Devotional

July 2024 Issue

The Time Has Come for a Great Reflection

From the Current Issue

Act Like Jesus: Reflecting His Actions

Act Like Jesus: Reflecting His Actions

The Tiger, the student newspaper for Clemson University, recently asked students if peer pressure was common for Clemson students. One sophomore said, “For sure. I definitely think it’s who you surround yourself with and the environment you’re in.” Another student, a senior, said, “I’m not in the Greek life communities, but I feel like if you want to become a part of those groups in particular, you’re expected to behave in a certain way and do certain things to fit in. People can feel like they have to do certain things to be accepted.”1

Those are smart students! They have figured out the old adage, that we are known by the company we keep.

Most people—young or old—who abuse alcohol, use drugs, curse, cheat, or engage in immorality do so because they caught those habits from the people they were around. Our actions tend to mirror the behavior of the people we surround ourselves with. It’s very easy to take on the attitudes and actions of the people we hang out with, the entertainment we consume, and the idols we emulate.

That’s why some of us remember our parents being so concerned about our choice of friends—and why we’re so concerned about our kids and grandkids and the groups they hang around with. It’s tried and true behavioral science: We become like the people we choose to be around.

When we walk with the Lord, listening to Him, talking with Him, studying His habits in the Bible, and admiring His deportment in the Gospels, we’ll find ourselves becoming more like Him. We’ll become known by the company we keep, and that means increasingly reflecting His actions to the world.

Reflect His Blamelessness

It boggles our minds to think of Jesus as totally blameless, sinless, and righteous. Try to imagine what Jesus of Nazareth was like as a child or during His teenage years. We have sparing descriptions of Him before He began His ministry at the age of thirty. Yet He never spoke a word, harbored an attitude, or committed a deed that wasn’t perfectly holy. He said in John 8:29, “I always do those things that please [My Father].” The apostle Paul referred to Christ as “Him who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). The writer of Hebrews said, “[He] was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). And the apostle Peter called Him “a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19).

You may say, “Well, I can never be sinless like Christ.” But I have two responses to that.

First, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin, so in God’s sight our sins are forgiven, and the righteousness of Jesus is transferred to our account.

Second, as we grow in Christ, we should have increased victory over all temptation and sin. This is sanctification. We can’t claim to experience a “sinless perfectionism” in this life, but we can learn to live in consistent victory over known sin. The Bible tells us, “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 7:1, NIV).

Is your life a consistent example of “perfecting holiness”?

To put it differently, what area in your life most needs to change right now if you’re going to be a stainless reflector of Christ? The Lord can give you victory in that very area, and He longs for you to have it.

The writer of Psalm 119:5 said, “Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees!” (NLT) You can adopt that as a prayer of your own.

Reflect His Graciousness

Jesus was also selfless and gracious in His approach to people. After a long day, Jesus went to Peter’s house to rest, but the crowds followed Him there. Matthew 8:16-17 says, “When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.’”

He still does that for us. John 1:16 says, “From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another” (NLT). We can take our marching orders from His example and extend selfless compassion and grace toward others.

One day Brennan Manning stood before a group of people and asked, “Who’s the most Christlike person in this room right now?” He paused, and some in the audience felt uneasy, for they knew it wasn’t them. Manning went on to say, “It’s not the person who prayed the most or the person who read his or her Bible the longest or even the person who did the most acts of service today. No, the most Christlike person in this room right now is the person who is the most choked with compassion over the brokenness of his or her neighbor. Because we are never more like Christ than when we are overcome with love and compassion over the poverty of our neighbor.”2

Reflect His Fearlessness

At the same time, we should reflect His fearlessness. While on His mission to earth, Jesus displayed many human emotions. He was sometimes sad, sometimes weary, sometimes anguished, and, as we’ll see, often happy. But we never see Him fearful. Indeed, He often asked His disciples why they were fearful. In Matthew 8:26, He said, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” In Matthew 10:28, He told us not to fear those who can kill the body, for they cannot touch the soul. A few verses later, He asked why we should be fearful when the Lord cares for the sparrows when we are much more valuable than they are (verse 31). In John 14:1, He told us to never let our hearts “be troubled.”

If you want to reflect Christ in your actions, consider the powerful impact of becoming someone who doesn’t live in sin, who is gracious and compassionate, and who doesn’t fear nor is intimidated. The serene, strong composure of such a man or woman reflects the fearlessness of Christ.

One author wrote, “Courage allows a Christian to be humble…. Humility paired with courage is a powerful position that allows Christians to stand tall in the face of stiff opposition. Courage is taking a stand for Christ against evil in the workplace. By going into the workplace with Christlike courage, Christians can change the workplace for the better.”3

Reflect His Happiness

When we have Christlike courage, coupled with growing sinlessness and deepening compassion, we’ll find greater happiness in all we’re doing. In the process we’ll make others happy too. I’ve seen a lot of Christians go about their duties at church and seek to serve Christ in the world with seldom a smile. But remember, Jesus was joyful.

Let me ask you a question. Are you more likely to approach a sullen and austere person or a smiling and happy one? Well, remember how the simple people of Galilee didn’t hesitate to approach the Lord Jesus. They showed up in droves, and I’m convinced His smiles were warm and frequent. Don’t you think He smiled as His hand reached out with its healing touch? Don’t you think He smiled as He preached about the birds and the lilies?

Jesus told His disciples, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).

When you wake up in the morning, get dressed, drink your coffee, and head off to work, school, the golf course, the grocery store, or wherever you go, your actions should be blameless, gracious, fearless, and joyous. These are not impossible goals; these are the marks of the normal Christian life. These are reflectors that will shine the light of Jesus to those watching you.

Paul wrote to Titus, telling him, “Promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching…. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching” (Titus 2:1, 7, NLT). Your actions should be shaped by the example of Jesus—His direction, His model, His reactions.

Examine your own actions, and do as Paul told Titus: Let everything you do reflect the integrity of your Savior, for it’s time for the world to see a great reflection of Him!


1Madison Akers, “Speak Up!: Do You Think Peer Pressure Is Common for Clemson Students?” The Tiger, January 25, 2024.
2Judith Hougen, Transformed into Fire (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2002), 210.
3Ken Snodgrass, Trading With God (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2019), 154.

This Month's Magazine Resource

I AM Inspiration Cards

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