Part 1 Improving Yourself
- Read the Bible.
The Bible has all the answers and will always help you and give you advice on how to be a good Christian (a quick look at the Ten Commandments shows that). Also, most bookstores sell books that help you understand the scripture better, if you find the Bible a bit difficult to fully actualize – which happens to most of us!
- Participating in Bible study groups can make this a fun, enjoyable activity that you stick with over the long-term. What’s more, you’ll make plenty of like-minded friends with whom you can share the word of God.
- Jesus said in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away but My words shall not pass away.” And by reading the Bible, you make sure His words live on.
- Pray regularly.
It’s important to put God before everything, thanking Him for everything, too. Pray when you get up (and read the Bible), pray before you eat, and pray before you go to sleep (and read the Bible). Always keep Him with you, which is easiest done with prayer.
- James 1:5 says that God wants to give you wisdom in abundance if you ask for it. Prayer can indeed be about anything, and regardless of what your prayer is about, God will answer you as He sees fit. Ask for advice, forgiveness, but also just drop into say hello from time to time!
- Always praise the Lord.
Be it through the way you talk to people or the way you are in the day-to-day, always praise the Lord. Let everybody see that God is present and within you. This means cultivating an aura of positivity and light, doing what He would do. Let Him live through
- Part of this is up to interpretation. Does praising the Lord mean praying regularly to you? Singing? Talking about Him with others? All of these ideas are right! Praising him means living in His light – there’s no wrong way to do it.
- “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.” Think about this: today is a day from the Lord – how uplifting and powerful is that? Realizing that makes it easier to turn every moment into a moment of praise.
- Practice forgiveness – of others and yourself.
This is one of the hardest things for many of us – we read the scriptures, we go to church, we try to live as He would, but at the end of the day, we still play the blame game, even if that means we blame ourselves. To be closer to God, make a conscious effort toward forgiving yourself and forgiving others. We’re all trying to do our best!
- Instead of acting out with anger or malice, turn the other cheek. When someone rubs you the wrong way, show them that you’re living in the light of Christ and taking the higher road. Forgive them for their sins as Jesus would do. Who knows? They may be inspired by your actions.
- The next time you’re beating yourself up over the tiniest thing, remember how perfect you are to Him. He would hate to see you treating yourself that way! Instead, concentrate on doing better next time, focusing on the future and not the past.
- Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” When you’re tempted otherwise, think of this simple yet beautiful sentiment.
- Be modest and humble about your faith, even though it’s beautiful.
Never brag how close you are to God. This will just turn people off from the Gospel and you’ll miss your chance to witness to others. No one cares for arrogance – Jesus certainly never did. In the book of Peter, it says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.” Remember: we are all his sons and daughters.
- Unfortunately, some Christians come off as arrogant, assuming their faith is better than others’. Remember that Jesus preached that we are all sons and daughters of God, and that everyone should be loved equally. Keeping this in mind will make it easier to be humble in His image.
Try to participate in religious activities. Youth groups or other get-togethers with people who share your faith can be a great thing to do to bring yourself closer to your religion.
- Help the poor and destitute.
Whether this means donating clothes to your church’s next fundraiser or buying a sandwich for that homeless man you pass on the street every day, take action. Proverbs 19:17 says, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”
- Virtually every community has individuals that need a helping hand. And if you’re uncomfortable giving money, that’s fine – do you have some old clothes you don’t wear anymore? Could you bake a dish for a family you know, or give it to a homeless shelter? Could you make a craft to brighten someone’s day? Money isn’t the only route to happiness!
- Spread His word.
Tell the world of His glory! A simple way to be a better Christian is to be proud of your faith and to talk of how wonderful it feels, being so loved. Do your part to better the world by spreading His message. Who knows, you could change a few people’s lives!
- When you see people who are sick or in pain offer to pray for them and expect God to heal them
- You don’t have to do this directly (some people will not be receptive and view even the smallest comment as evangelizing); instead, you can attribute your happiness and success to the Lord. Simply embodying Him is spreading His power.
- Be genuine about your religion.
Don’t put on a show on the outside that you think He would approve of, but that you don’t truly feel on the inside. The opposite is true, too: don’t put on a show on the outside to blend in, asking for forgiveness later. When your religion comes up, be open about it. You have nothing to be ashamed of!
- Be genuine about your doubts, too. It’s only if you open up about them that others can reinforce your belief, making it ultimately stronger.
- Donate to your church and to charity.
Give tithes to the church, as written in the Bible, for the betterment of those less fortunate that the church can help that one person alone may be unable to reach. This includes your time as well as your possessions. But other organizations would benefit from your time and money, too – so spread the love as much as you can!
- In Corinthians it is said, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Don’t give tithes out of obligation – give them as a cheerful giver, knowing you’re doing your part.
- Go to church ‘’and’’ get involved.
In addition to going to church every Sunday, help out! Going through the motions is not what God intended. Sing in the choir, lector, or just be a greeter – any effort is appreciated. This will help you feel more devoted to your community, too.
- Find out how you can help – there’s usually more help that needs to be done than there are hands. Do you have any special talents? Cooking? Playing guitar? Sewing? Woodworking? Offer them up to your church. They’ll be able to make use of them somewhere!
A great way to truly impact the world the way God wants is to vote according to your beliefs. Whether it’s for President or just a tiny neighborhood election, your vote matters, especially to Him. This way, you’re doing your part to better your community at large.
- As the Bible is often subject to interpretation, think about what His words mean to you. If we are all sons and daughters of the Lord, what would be best for all of us, men and women, black and white, young and old?
Part 3 Deepening Your Faith
- Be creative in the name of God.
Going to church for an hour a week isn’t your “God time.” It’s 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So take that time and do something with it where you can channel your energy and produce something in His name. Whether it’s a painting, a song, a story, or a dish, He’d be proud.
- This “creative time” is good for you, too. It can help center you, relax you, and ultimately make you feel better about your situation. We all need to destress from time to time, and this may be the push you need to feel prepared to be a better Christian.
- Proverbs 22:29 states, “Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.” Talk about an endorsement from the big guy upstairs!
The Bible heavily advocates helping your sisters and brothers – Hebrews 13:16 says it well: “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” And in today’s day and age, that’s easier than ever.
- Volunteer at soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or hospital. Work with neglected kids who need a mentor, organize your church’s next luncheon, or even walk a few dogs from the Humane Society! There are dozens of ways you can better your community in His name.
- Visit ‘’other’’ churches.
This may sound a bit silly, but visiting other churches helps us understand other people, meet other Christians, and immerse ourselves in the Christian community, not just our one church. The more you learn about your faith, the stronger it’ll be.
- Experiment with other denominations, too. An orthodox Christian church could be a fascinating experience. However, don’t shy away from the other Abrahamic religions (Islam and Judaism) either – visiting a synagogue or mosque will also be a fruitful, enlightening experience. After all, we all share the same roots!
- Study great Christians.
There is much to learn in the lives of those great Christians who lived before us. Do some research and pick out a few individuals with stories that speak to you. How can you have their faith and their resolve? How can you live like they would?
- You’ve heard of Jesus, you’ve head of Martin Luther King, Jr., but have you heard of George Whitefield, Dwight Moody, or William Carey? There are so many individuals who have stories that we can learn from and be inspired by. And all it takes now is the press of a few buttons!
- Keep a faith journal.
Devote a few minutes each day to your faith journal. You can talk about whatever you like – what you’re thankful for, what you’re thinking about that day, or what you’d like His guidance on. Just staying conscious of Him and His presence in your life is the goal.
- As time goes on, flip back through the pages of your journal. You’ll likely be amazed at all the growth you’ve made!
- Take it with you wherever you go – you may find a quiet moment where you feel particularly reflective and having it at your side will be handy to record how you feel right then and there.
- Isaiah 40:8 – “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” This doesn’t mean only the scripture, this can even be the word of God through you.
Add New Question
I am attending a school where there aren’t many Christians, and a church where I don’t feel the spirit. I feel like I’m drifting away from God. What do I do?
Pray to God at home. It doesn’t matter if not everyone shares your views. God won’t mind.
My parents are kind of against Christianity. If I obey God, I disobey my parents, and vice versa. What can I do?
Your parents are really important, but God is more important. God wants you to stay faithful to Him even in times when people are against you. If your parents ask you to do a chore, do it without hesitation. If they ask you to stop reading your Bible, protest politely. Also, if they don’t give you time to read your Bible or to pray, then remain faithful to God and use your free time to read your Bible and pray.
My parents aren’t that religious, but I’m trying to be. How do I read the Bible and go to church if they don’t?
Find out if a friend who is religious can take you to church. You could tell your parents, too, that they could just drop you off at church and come back to pick you up. Also, if you want to read the Bible, you can figure out a schedule of reading it daily. It is usually best to start with the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the New Testament. You can read, say, one chapter each day either early in the morning or before you go to bed at night, pray, and then continue with your day.
How do I know that God is the one guiding me?
Pray, then listen. When Jesus left this world, he gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, which was placed in our hearts. Ever had an idea and a voice in the back of your head said, “No, that’s a bad idea”? That’s God.
What would I write about in my “faith journal”? I write in a journal, and I am Christian, but I am unsure what you mean when you say “faith journal.”
I am not completely sure either, but I do have a journal where I keep thoughts that God has given me or prayers, moments I have with God, etc., so I won’t forget. I often use these as notes when I want to talk to someone about God. I don’t think there are specific rules or anything, write whatever you see fit.
Can I still be a good Christian if I have sexually sinned a lot in the past?
Yes. God will forgive those sins, but you shouldn’t do it again in the future.
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- Jesus introduced the concept of giving and receiving by faith in Luke 6:38.
- In today’s modern world, the idea of tithes and offerings to God in Christian finance has fallen by the wayside. Many are struggling financially, and the idea of relinquishing some of your financial wealth or possessions simply does not seem like good financial sense. It is not about the Christian giving his own money to the Lord, but rather an act of returning it to the original owner.
- Do more for other people than yourself.
- Don’t act like the Westboro Baptist Church. Remember to love, not hate.
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Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value — Albert Einstein
Society tells us to “Be the man” and “You’re the man,” but it fails to give men an accurate picture of what that is. Even in the Bible, Nathan said to David, “You are the man!” . . . ”Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes?” (2 Samuel 12:7, 9).
Just because David was “the man” in his time, he had his share of struggles in knowing and in doing what was right in God’s eyes, too.
When I think about how to be a man, a lot of ideas, images, and thoughts come to mind. In some ways I wish that I didn’t have so many and there would be one clear cut “ideal” way. But in today’s world of questionable role models, political correctness, diversity acceptance, and gender confusion, it makes “being a man” a little confusing, and to do so as a Christian, even more so.
Today’s churches seem to have varying opinions of what a man should be as well. Some churches have adopted a passive, quiet, “turn the other cheek” sort of man, while other ministries, like the newly developed men’s conference, GodMen, have another take. From their website, www.godmen.com they say the following:
“The truth is that on any given Sunday, 60 percent of church attendees are women, and something about church today is keeping men away. We are attempting to create a worship place for men that looks nothing like church. It is a place where men of no religion and men who have left the church break bread with followers of Jesus. Where simply being a man, created in Gods image, is celebrated. An environment familiar with and conducive to the way men are made comfortable and the unique way men interact.”
Newsweek says about GodMen, “Their purpose: to reassert masculinity within a church structure that they say has been weakened by feminization.”
In the controversial book, Wild at Heart, which has sold over 500,000 copies, author John Eldredge says, “When all is said and done, I think most men in the church believe that God put them on the earth to be a good boy. The problem with men, we are told, is that they don’t know how to keep their promises, be spiritual leaders, talk to their wives, or raise their children . . . Walk into most churches in America, have a look around, and ask yourself this question: What is a Christian man?”
The bottom line is, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him” (Genesis 1:27).
To the typical Christian guy, what does that mean? Even more puzzling is, how is that lived out? We are told that we are made in the image of God and we are to live our lives as Christ lived, but many of those “formative years” in Jesus’s life are not revealed in the Bible. We read about his life as a child teaching in the temple and we know of his years of ministry after he turns 30 years old, but nothing is said of his teenage and young adult years. In some ways, that can leave many questions for the spiritual growth of a man.
When I accepted Christ, I was working in a large company in the Bay Area and didn’t have a lot of other Christian businessmen around me who mentored me in how to live a godly Christian life within the confines of today’s fast-paced society and the world of business. I had to seek out older men who were living godly lives.
Guys, for whatever reason, oftentimes look for role models or “heroes.” Many of us won’t readily admit to doing so, but we want to be around others who exude “manliness,” guys we can “hang” with . . . “real men.” Of course if you asked us how to define “manliness,” you’d get a hundred different answers. But each one of us could probably point out someone who represents it to us.
One person I’ve found in the Bible that I would point to is Boaz. A lesser known character, he represents someone who followed God and lived a life that is relatable and whom I would like to emulate in some ways. Boaz wasn’t a disciple of Jesus—in fact he lived approximately 1000 years prior to Jesus. Boaz doesn’t have a book named after him, and his entire life is only mentioned in three chapters of Ruth. But in those three short chapters, Boaz shows us how to be a man of God, how to be a man in business and how to be a man in a relationship.
How to Be a Man of God
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11).
Many people can “look” like a man of God or “sound” like a man of God, but Boaz exemplified it in who he was, how he spoke and what he did.
- He was a “man of standing”—also known as “mighty man of valor,” possessed the finest of qualities (Ruth 2:1).
- He became “kinsman-redeemer”—took responsibility for Naomi and Ruth and their property (Ruth 2:20, 4:9).
- He blessed others—to his workers, “The Lord be with you” (Ruth 2:4); to Ruth, “May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge” (Ruth 2:11-12).
- He spoke kindly to others and was kind—Ruth said, “You have given me comfort and have spoken kindly to your servant” (Ruth 2:13); Naomi said, “He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead” (Ruth 2:20).
- He cared about the feelings of others—“Even if she gathers among the sheaves, don’t embarrass her” (Ruth 2:15).
To be a man “of” God, you need to be a man who follows and submits “to” God. Boaz certainly depicted a man whose life was one of consistent submission to the Lord.
How to Be a Man in Business
What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? (Matthew 16:26).
When it comes to world of business, there are many people who believe that selling your soul is a small price when it comes to wealth and fortune. There are examples of this every day on the news and it was a common practice during Boaz’s time. This made Boaz stand out even more as a successful businessman who owned many fields, had many workers and slaves and had the means for much more.
- He cared about his workers—“The Lord be with you” (Ruth 2:4).
- He was astute (knew who worked for him and knew the comings and goings)—“Whose young woman is that?” (Ruth 2:5).
- He was honest and fair—“For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line” (Ruth 4:2-5).
- He was wealthy—“I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion and Mahlon” (Ruth 4:9).
- He was well respected—the kinsman-redeemer and elders were willing to listen to Boaz and blessed him (Ruth 4:1-2, 11-13).
Life’s greatest joys are not what one does apart from the work of one’s life, but with the work of one’s life — William J Bennett
How to Be a Man in a Relationship
Why do men chase women they have no intention of marrying? The same urge that makes dogs chase cars they have no intention of driving — Author Unknown
This period of time was marked by immorality and irresponsibility. Boaz was a successful, single older man, and was probably pursued and could have married (or taken advantage of) anyone he wanted to, but he didn’t. A younger, widowed woman in an unfamiliar place comes along and catches his eye, but throughout their interaction, he treats her honorably.
- He respected her—“My daughter . . .” (which was a proper greeting based upon the difference in their ages) (Ruth 2:8).
- He ensured her safety—“I have told the men not to touch you” (Ruth 2:9).
- He cared for Ruth and Naomi—“He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed” (Ruth 3:17).
- He acted responsibly with her—he did not send her home in the middle of the night, “Stay here for the night”; he protected the rights of the nearest kinsman-redeemer, “ . . . if he wants to redeem, good; let him redeem.”; he protected her reputation, “Don’t let it be known that a woman came to the threshing floor” (Ruth 3:13-14).
- He would not touch her unless Ruth was rightfully his to do so—“ . . .there is a kinsman-redeemer nearer than I” (who has the right to her); He promised he would care for her if given the opportunity—“…if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it” (Ruth 3:13); “So Boaz took Ruth as she became his wife” (Ruth 4:13).
Men are given so many confusing messages these days by society, by the media, by peers and by women themselves. Everywhere we look, we are told how we should be, what we should look like or wear and how we should act. Men are being bounced between macho-ism and metro-sexual-ism. And the only place that we can go to establish a foundation of “how to be a man” is the Word of God.
My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.
Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.
Do no swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
Oh I say the measure of a man
Is not how tall you stand
How wealthy or intelligent you are
‘Cause I found out the measure of a man
God knows and understand
For He looks inside to the bottom of your heart
And what’s in the heart defines
The measure of a man
4HIM – “Measure of a Man”
Cliff Young is a contributing writer to Sandlot Stories (ARose Books). An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Got feedback? Send your comments and questions to .
Three Easy Steps
By Tiffany Wismer
So, you want to learn how to be a good Christian? Well, you’ve come to the right place. In just three easy steps I can teach you how to be a good Christian.
No I can’t. There’s no magic formula for how to be a good Christian. In fact, it’s impossible. Good Christians are like unicorns: a lovely idea, but completely mythical. Consider the story of the rich young ruler in Mark 10:17. This young man runs up to Jesus and addresses Him as “Good Teacher.” Jesus responds by saying “Why do you call me good? Noone is good except God alone.” It’s as if Jesus is saying “You must know that I’m God, because I know you wouldn’t be using the word ‘good’ to describe a mortal man.”
This is the point: God is good, and man is not. Well, you may ask, if we can’t be good, what are all those commands for? Here’s the answer:
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” Romans 7:7
The point of the law is to show us that we’re not good. It’s to prove to us that our nature is the opposite of God’s nature. Good doesn’t exist without God. He defines good. He makes good what it is. It’s like asking, “What makes water wet?” Well, the water makes water wet. Similarly, God makes goodness what it is, because God and goodness are of the same essence. But man is made of different stuff (Romans 3:10). God gave us the Law to show us three things: first, He gave us the Law so we could see clearly just what and who we are. Second, He gave us the Law so we could see clearly just Who He Is. Thirdly, He gave us the Law so that we could recognize our deep and desperate need for His essence to enter and regenerate our dead souls (Ephesians 2:4-5).
Asking how to be a good Christian is like asking how to teach your dog to talk. You can’t. The dog will never talk. That creature doesn’t talk. It’s not in its nature to do so. It doesn’t have the necessary brain and mouth to be able to talk. Unless the dog becomes human, it will never talk. It’s the same with you and me, and the issue of how to be a good Christian. We can’t do it. We don’t have the right kind of essence. We aren’t the right kind of creature. So, is that it, then?
Not yet. First, remember that God promises that “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). You are a new creature now, if you are in Christ. Being in Christ means becoming the right kind of creature. But that doesn’t mean you know how to be good yet. So, how is that accomplished?
What did Jesus say to the rich young ruler? He didn’t say, “You haven’t measured up.” He simply loved him and told him that if he wanted to be perfect, he should sell all his possessions and follow Christ. And the rich young ruler went away sad because he had great wealth. The lesson is that Christianity is not a matter of being a good Christian, or following the rules, it’s a matter of desire. What is your desire?
Is your desire to be good? If so, why? Are you looking for praise from men? Do you believe that by being good, God will bless you? Is your goodness a sort of currency, or a bargaining chip?
Or, is your desire to be happy being bad? Do you want to justify your bad behavior by belittling the goodness of God, and of His Word? Is it that you know that your actions are sinful, but fail to hate those actions the way you should?
Or is your desire for God? If you desire God above all else, you won’t be worried about how to be a good Christian, because you’ll be too busy loving a good God.
The person who is in Christ will do two things. First, they will love God. They will be fascinated by His goodness and by Who He Is. Secondly, they will trust Him to create goodness in their hearts and lives. Pulling yourself up by the bootstraps never works. You have to go to the Source of goodness to get goodness. There’s no way to manufacture it on your own, even as a new creature. Your desires have changed, but you are still empty of goodness. You want goodness, but you still can’t produce it. So, don’t try to be good. Be active when it comes love, but passive when it comes to goodness.
Does this mean we shouldn’t care when we see sin in our lives? No way! We should want goodness in our lives. Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” See the passive language there? The person that hungers to see goodness in their lives will be filled. They won’t fill themselves, they will be filled by another.
This happens as we pray, pray for God’s Spirit to enter us and fill us with all His attributes: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness and self-control. And as we love Him and reflect on Him, His goodness will fill us and shine out of us. We will have the privilege of being a vessel for His goodness. But we should never forget where that goodness comes from — we are simply jars of clay, filled with treasure; the carriers of precious cargo.
So, stop thinking about how to be a good Christian, and focus instead on the One who owns goodness, holds goodness in His hand, and can pour it out into your heart.
Image Credit: DorkyMum; “simple heart”; Creative Commons