Friday, August 26, 2011

Five Attributes of Fully Actualized Christians

What does it mean to be a Christian? When I use the word 'Christian,' I like to attribute it to the original definition. This was a title given to people who spent time with Jesus while he was alive on Earth and the people they taught. At that time, calling someone a Christian was to say that they were “like Christ.”

As I've gone through life, I have found a few traits that were common in people who had fully manifested Jesus' teachings. This isn't to say that all Christians exhibit these traits, but that, as people become fully Christ-like, these traits seem to develop within them. As I became closer and closer to God, these attributes began to manifest within me, as well. I was affirmed of these traits again when I read them in Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and I now present them to you here: Five attributes of fully actualized Christians; What C.S Lewis called: "The New Men".

  1. They Err on the Sides of Strength and Happiness
Christians believe there is value in misfortune and they hunt for that value. The most obvious of this is in death, when they are finally reunited with God, but there are many others, too. The natural assumption for a Christian is that a bad outcome has happened for a reason. That reason may be a lesson for us to learn or it could be a prerequisite for something better to happen later. Christians search for and trust in these things and use them to move forward confidently in life. Because of this, Christians are often less frightened by the unknown and are more comfortable with the future.

  1. They Dislike “Religious People”
The term “religious” has come to mean a great deal of things. Many of them are negative. For some it means: Someone who has forsaken facts in favor of superstition. For others it means: Someone who believes them self to be superior to or favored over others. Some people who fit into the latter definition go so far as to believe they are allowed to do things others are not, like lie. True Christians denounce these practices. Christians understand that fact and faith are compatible and are not frightened in the face of evidence. They may believe that they have strengths over you, but they're just as quick to entertain that you have strengths over them. Often, they will even seek out those strengths as opportunities for them to learn and grow. The common definition of “religious” does not apply to these people.

  1. They Do Not Draw Attention to Themselves
Christians feel no need to be the center of attention. They have no strong desire to be liked, even though they strive to be likable people. For the most part, they are even comfortable being disliked. Christians are confident with themselves and accept and enjoy how they are. Often, they can seem alone, but rarely will they seem lonely. Fitting into society is not a high priority for them. That said, Christians do seek opportunities to contribute to society. At peace with themselves, Christians focus on the problems outside of themselves. They can and do enjoy the attention they receive for their contributions, but often try to pass the credit on to others.

  1. They Love More, but Need Less
Christians search for the best in people, loving them despite their flaws. They have high expectations of themselves, but expect little from others. A Christian is the type of person who would help you in your time of need as if they were duty bound to do so. When the tables are turned, however, they will seek to overcome their strife on their own, but will show tremendous gratitude to anyone willing to give them aid.

  1. They are Unusually Efficient
Christians seem to have a lot of time. This can manifest in two ways. First, a Christian may seem to have an abundance of free time, with which they enjoy their lives. Second, a Christian may have almost no free time, but get much more done in a day than most others do. Much of this is easily attributed to God himself, but some of it also comes from item number one above: Christians have more drive because they don't let things get them down. Furthermore, Christians are motivated by continual growth and live each moment to the fullest.

As you may have gathered from this, fully actualized Christians are an extremely rare breed. This is not surprising, as it was foretold around the time of Christ's life. From Matthew 7:13-14 “...wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” A fully actualized Christian is someone who has found the narrow gate and embraced life to the maximum degree. As difficult as these people are to find, once you cross paths with one, they're easy to recognize.


1 comment:

  1. Rare indeed. I like the quote, by the way. This particular scripture should not be interpreted that the popular consensus in always wrong, although this may often be the case. Rather, I take it to mean that one must vigilantly seek the correct path for one's self, in this, the popular opinion is irrelevant.
    Not that this needs to be explained to you, obviously you have figured that out; I am just adding to the topic of discussion. The confidence that you mentioned in attribute 1 reminds me of Sartre's "Moral Superman."