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  • Renee Patton

If I Only Had One Wish

By Renee Patton

“Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Phil. 2:2

Wishes, wishes, wishes! We all have wishes! Wishes to make things different, salvation for others, and be honest, material means. I have pondered this topic for some time, and I have only one wish! That wish would be…………for Christians to actually like Christians!!

I would wave that sparkly magic wand and change the countenance of Christians to bring joy to the Lord and be of one accord!

How many times in life have we encountered someone who we know is saved, yet you would never be able to see that in their words, countenance, or disposition? Is that person you? Better yet, is it me? Oh yes, unfortunately, it has been me and you both! No matter where we are or the situation we are faced with, Christians are to be just that, CHRIST-like. The one place one would believe Christlikeness would abound is the church. The church should be a place of refuge from the world, comfort from circumstance, edification of others, where our hearts are convicted and turned toward Christ through the preaching of God’s Word!

When a Christian can enter an unsaved workplace and find more genuine, honest people – woe to that church and other Christians! I have worked with other Christian school teachers who have no joy, love, or Christlikeness on their face at all! Made me wonder about the purpose of their employment there. We need to remember we are being watched at all times. Those young people and other staff members will be affected by our attitude of Christlikeness.

Philippians chapter two is a wonderful place to learn Christlikeness. Paul begs the Philippians 2:2 to be “…likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” God wants each of us to be likeminded with Him.

This means we may have to put others before ourselves! I know this is a foreign concept to all those other Christians; however, we fall prey to failing from time to time also! Verse three is clear about “…esteem others better than themselves.”

Further, Paul continues to remind the Philippians of Christlikeness in verse five, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”

So, where do I begin to be a Christian that brings Christlikeness into my world? I believe first I must be willing to say the three least spoken words in all of society – I am sorry! When one apologizes to me, I am ready to move mountains for them – how about you? Those three little words are not little at all! Although do not add the tiny word if in there! “I am sorry if I hurt you” – obviously if one is upset, something happened – not if it happened.

When I have done something knowingly, I must apologize and take care of making the matter right. As a Mom, have you apologized to your children for overreacting or not handling a situation correctly? I have apologized to my children for my errors in judgment. What humbleness this brings to me while strengthening our relationship.

As a wife, have you apologized to your husband for the bad attitude you have had toward him? In my experience, those who apologize are very Christlike toward others. Think about it, who apologizes to you and for what? Conversely, who do you apologize to, and for what? Moreover, has your Pastor ever apologized? Talk about moving mountains - a Pastor who has erred and publicly admits it will draw him closer to his church – a perfect picture of Christlikeness!

Secondly, forgive others! When one has asked for forgiveness – forgive them! The remembrance may not go away quickly, but pray. God will heal your heart! It may take time, but remember how many times we have hurt others. Colossians 3:13 states, “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”

Ultimately, Christ forgave our sins and is willing to take us to Heaven, so forgive your brothers and sisters in Christ – they are as human as you, remember!

Additionally, Christians are to be a light in the world, thus, we should strive to not be offensive. An unsaved person will be harder to win to Christ if I turn them off “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city; and their contentions are like the bars of a castle” (Proverbs 18:19).

If as Christians, we are all trying to meet the same goals of being in one accord and of one mind, this world would be infinitely different!

So, where does change begin? Change must first begin with me! I must be gracious to others as I remember that I too have hurt others, whether intentional or unintentional! Forgiveness should not even be a second thought amongst Christians. Additionally, I must apologize! How often have I felt one should apologize to me for said words or actions? Thus, I must be the person I want to see in others!

Lord, help me to see my hardness before I affect others! May I be quick to apologize when I offend and even quicker to forgive! If I had only one wish, I would wish Christians would man or woman up and be like our namesake – CHRIST!

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