As Christians, we’re called to discipleship. Scripture mentions being a disciple many times. And Jesus Himself speaks often about the significance of being His disciple. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus instructs the apostles with these words, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Discipleship is key to our Christianity, and while we are not perfect in our faith, we should always strive for perfection for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is what the Lord wants of us. He expects that if we choose to follow Him, then we are accepting that we are to live a different life from those who don’t follow Him. Jesus laid out the many standards and expectations of discipleship.
Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:27)
So, what does it mean to be a disciple? Here are 10 qualities of discipleship that we should all adhere to as followers of Christ.
1.Loves Jesus above everyone and everything. The first Commandment calls for this and Christians adhere to this with devotion. While disciples love their family, friends and even foes, they put the Lord above all else and it’s evident in their priorities. Money, career, ambition may be a part of their lives, but these things and other material interests never come before Christ and following His Word.
2.Selflessness and sacrifice. Disciples always put others first and in many ways put other’s needs before their own. This is evident in disciples’ selfless deeds and many acts of kindness.
3.Humility and modesty. To be humble is to be a disciple of the Lord, because the Lord Himself was truly humble. Just remember that He came into this world a man, and how he came, in a stable, laying in a manger. He humbled Himself to everyone and yet He was God. Christ’s disciples are also modest, not just in appearance but also in the way that they act.
4.Dedicated to following Christ and the Commandments. A disciple is committed to the Lord and eager to follow His Word and act in ways that are pleasing to Him. This doesn’t mean that a disciple is perfect or that she always does the right thing.
5.Is not easily influenced by the world. In fact, a disciple is indifferent to the standards of the world and is not affected by trends or fashion.
6.Has self-control in her emotions and actions. This is evident in the way she behaves, regardless of how others act toward her. If she is criticized, ridiculed or persecuted for her faith, she responds with kindness, just as Jesus did. After all, Christ called us all to do as He did.
7.Lives the Word. A disciple is a light that shines in the world and reflects the Lord in her actions and lifestyle. Her faith is reflected in her words and deeds. “You are the light of the world,” Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16. “A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
8.Professes the Word regularly and effectively. A disciple speaks the Word of the Lord in regular conversation, not in a preachy way, but naturally because it’s what she believes. And she’s so eager to share the Word because her desire is to introduce the Lord to everyone.
9.Loves as Christ did. Or at least tries to. Jesus is love and He was clear when He called all His followers to love as He loved. Disciples understand that it’s not easy to love as the Lord did, but know also that to love others is to love Him.
10.Recognizes that she needs God’s strength to be a true disciple. Because a disciple knows her weaknesses and understands that she cannot live in this world without the strength of the Lord. And that suffering is only bearable when the Lord is with her.
Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32)
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