Self-help and personal growth publications seem to be all the rage. People are looking for instruction in how to become more (and here you can fill in the blank). In this, I suspect that nothing much has changed over the years. People have long searched out ways to improve themselves or show others the way to improve themselves or others.

Saint Paul gives some brief and pithy instruction for how people should live (especially as Christians). 

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Romans 12: 9-13

He continues:

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12: 14-21

The problem is that even in Christ’s Church on earth this doesn’t always happen, does it? Even Christians bicker and fight, get angry, or seek to “get even.” We, who should know (and do) better, often fail to do and be what we profess and seek for.

So, what should we do? It is as simple and clear as the cross many of us wear or use to decorate our homes, persons, or churches. Return to the cross of Jesus Christ, remembering His sacrifice for sinners, and give thanking to God for His mercy and grace in Jesus Christ!

In my humble opinion, this is how we become and live as Christians!

We pray:  O God—Father, Son, and Spirit—give us the grace to know, live in, and share the message of Jesus. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.