How can you tell if someone has been changed by Christ? What does a transformed life look like? The current issue of Leadership Journal (Summer 2012) focuses on this issue of transformation. The theme of the issue is that while God is the one doing the transformation and the one who completes the job, there is a role for the church and believers.
One of the more helpful articles is by Pastor Gordon MacDonald, “How to spot a transformed Christian: 12 outward signs of the inner reality.” As the subtitle indicates, Pastor Mac provides a checklist of transformation, or a profile of what a transformed person looks like in daily life.
A transformed Christian is one who . . .
- Has an undiluted devotion to Jesus. Devotion infers a determination that one will organize his/her life around Jesus.
- Pursues a biblically informed view of the world. They know the Bible well.
- Is intentional and disciplined in seeking God’s direction. They practice responsive obedience and avoid spiritual passivity.
- Worships, and with a spirit of continuous repentance. Through worship, they gain a sense of their true size and the need to acknowledge their unique form of brokenness.
- Build healthy human relationships. They are faithful to friends, affectionate, attentive, and servant-like to a spouse (if married), and patient and nurturing to children (if a parent).
- Knows how to engage the larger world. They resist the temptation to draw totally into church programs and withdraw from influential contact with the community.
- Senses a personal “call” and unique competencies. It’s not about me, but what has been entrusted to me and what can be offered to others.
- Is merciful and generous to those who are weaker. They practice a Barnabas-like spirit of generosity, encouragement, and mercy.
- Appreciates that suffering is part of faithfulness to Jesus. Whatever the source of suffering, the transforming believer does not complain, does not seek pity, does not become embittered.
- Is eager and ready to express the content of his faith. They seek and even pray for opportunities to communicate their devotion to Christ.
- Overflows with thankfulness. Rather than receive, take, or feel entitled, they are grateful and appreciative, and even cheerful about what they have.
- Has a passion for reconciliation. They bring people together.