Related To Jesus
"If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him." 1 John 2:29 (NKJV)
God created us to adopt the character traits of the people we hang out with the most. It's why my oldest son Jacob will talk to his younger brother with my authoritative tone (something I am not proud of). My youngest son will try and be goofy and make people laugh the way his father tries - I emphasize tries.
We can't ignore this principle; who we hang out with is who we become. Knowing this principle is not enough, we must use it to our advantage. When we spend real time with Jesus, we will naturally become and act more and more like Him (living righteously). Spending time with Jesus is not easy to do, but if we want Him to change us, we must make it a priority.
Spending time with Jesus enables us to be shaped into His image, but we cannot ignore hanging out with peers, who are also disciples. When we do this, we are doubling up our efforts, and spiritual habits are produced in our lives in greater ways. The Bible is full of scriptures that talk about the importance of being in community.
Here are some practical steps to allow Jesus life (righteous living) to be formed in you. You may focus on one or all of the following at your pace: Keep reading this devotional every morning (sorry, couldn't help the obvious plug, Lol). Look for events, people, or circumstances to thank Jesus for throughout your day. Ask God to give you a heart for the lost and to pray for Jesus to reveal Himself to at least two people every day. Thank Jesus for the little victories like not lying, being unselfish, giving credit to someone else, obeying your parents, not giving into the wrong kind of pressure - all when you usually would have given in. Recognize that spiritual growth, like physical growth takes time. Lastly, but of equal importance, take advantage of opportunities like church, youth meetings, and events to hang out with other believers.
When you blow it and sin, ask Jesus to forgive you. He always will, and He will not be disappointed (disappointment has to be with being surprised, and He is never surprised). He will only extend grace (more ability, more understanding) so that you will continue to grow and others will see that you are related to Him. He really Loves You and Likes You!