I was just being challenge this week to be more like Christ in the way i think about situation and the way I focus my efforts toward others. I often ask myself is what I do going to draw people closer to God or is it going to draw them further from God. In 2 Corinthians 6:3-4 Paul says "We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault in our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind."
The next part Paul talks about all the different hardships he had faced. I look at them in conparison and realize I think that maybe one or two of the things he had to endure daily I have had to endure once or twice in my whole life. Yet I think we today have a harder time especially in America living a life that would not cause anyone to stumble. I know that when ever i say something that could be offensive or I say something that might be out of character I always feel like dang that is ground loss. My ministry at work is completely relational I am just trying to represent Christ in me through my life. Sometimes I don't let him shine. I sometimes would rather put in my headphones and work. But Paul continues after the list of hardships and says 1 Cor 6:6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love." I think for me the patience is the hardest one for me. When you are working and just want to get through your shift it is easy to isolate yourself and not pay attention to the others around you. I have tried to make it a point to get to know everyone in my work place. I ask them questions and I try not to stay away from sensitive Christian topics like relationships and lifestyle.
So I know that we don't have to endure persecution in the U.S. anywhere close to what Christ and the apostles faced but we still have to stand and live a life that will help people walk with Christ in love. For me its laying down my comforts and my rights so that God can have his way. Easy is often not the best and is almost least rewarding. So try something hard.