The June 2016 issue of Christianity Today reported on the findings of a recent Pew Research Center survey that asked the question, “What is essential to being a Christian?” (They could choose more than one thing.)
Among all Christians surveyed:
86% said “Believing in God”
71% said “Being grateful”
69% said “Forgiving others”
67% said “Being honest”
63% said “Praying regularly”
42% said “Reading the Bible”
35% said “Attending church”
What would YOU say is essential to being a Christian?
I say it is “Being more like Jesus every day.” What does that mean?
For me, I go back to that classic song from my childhood days, which said, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love.” Our love for others is what is essential to our Christian faith and what we should focus our attention on. It is, of course, at the heart of the Greatest Commandment that Jesus gave to us:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” —John 13:34-35
Our love from Christ is what sets us apart as Christians in this world.
And the love Christ showed was selfless, all-embracing, outside of the norm and ceaseless.
My prayer is that it is this kind of Christ-like love that defines who we are as Christians 100%.