God

Jesus in One Sentence

I sat up groggily as the alarm clock beeped, groaning at the unwelcome intrusion into my comfortable sleep. Rubbing my hand across my eyes, I contemplated pressing the snooze button and dozing for an extra thirty minutes. Did I really need to have a quiet time this morning?

As I pondered various ways to avoid the discomfort of getting out of bed, out of the corner of my eye I noticed my roommate, Krissy, sitting up and pushing back her covers. The moment I glanced at her face, I did a double-take. She was smiling. She hadn’t yet been awake for thirty seconds, and already she was beaming with genuine happiness. I was taken aback. How was it possible to be that happy from the very moment your alarm went off? I leaned forward and watched her more closely to see what she would do next.

“Good morning, Lord!” she exclaimed joyfully, looking up toward heaven and still wearing a radiant smile. Then with great eagerness, she reached into the drawer of her bedside table and pulled out her Bible. Her face was glowing with excitement as she drank in the words of Scripture. It was almost as if her soul’s Beloved had written a special love letter just for her, and she couldn’t wait to read it.

A Set-Apart Example

I was startled and convicted by what I saw. At seventeen, I had recently surrendered my life to Christ. But I realized that I didn’t yet have the same passion for Jesus that Krissy did. When the morning alarm went off, I was only concerned about preserving my own comforts, but Krissy couldn’t wait to spend time in the presence of her King. Abandoning the idea of pushing the snooze button, I reached for my journal and began writing out a prayer that had been growing in my heart for several days:

Lord, I want to love you the way that Krissy does.

Rarely had I seen someone with the kind of sincere love and joy that Krissy had. During church worship services, she would smile, raise her hands to heaven, and sing with a fervor I had never seen before. When she was in social situations where she didn’t know anyone, she would immediately look for the most insecure or needy person in the room and reach out to him or her. She seemed to be always in tune with God’s Spirit, letting Him guide her steps, lead her to the right people, and pour out His love through her.

Krissy was set apart in every area of her daily life—her clothing, her activities, her interactions with men, her speech, and her pastimes all reflected a heart that longed to honor Jesus Christ and live according to God’s pattern of purity and holiness. Yet she didn’t look down on those who didn’t live the same way that she did. She was always loving, giving, and serving others, never criticizing them. Instead of feeling intimidated or defensive because of Krissy’s high standards for purity and holy living, I was intrigued and inspired.

I began to understand where true set-apartness must come from—not from rules but from a passionate daily relationship with the King of all kings.

Growing up in conservative Christian circles, I’d been around many women who were seeking to live a holy lifestyle—wearing modest dresses, avoiding certain activities, teaching their kids to sit stone-still in church, and so on. All too often, these well-meaning Christians seemed to believe that their religious lifestyles and personal convictions were the things that put them on good terms with God. They often exuded a critical spirit toward anyone who didn’t share all of their personal convictions. As a result, nominal Christians like me were tempted to swing in the opposite direction and throw “holy living” standards out the window for fear of becoming like them.

Krissy was different. She had all of the same standards and convictions of many other conservative Christians I’d known. But her motivation seemed to come from an entirely different source. Instead of trying to be set apart for God by adopting a slew of self-imposed rules, she simply focused on loving and knowing Jesus Christ. Every standard that Krissy upheld was simply an outflow of her personal, intimate, loving walk with Him.

Observing Krissy’s radiant example changed my life. I began to understand where true set-apartness must come from—not from rules but from a passionate daily relationship with the King of all kings. I had always been afraid that if I adopted higher standards for purity and holy living, I would become like those stiff, somber, legalistic Christians I had observed growing up.

Through Krissy’s example, I saw that set-apart living, when it flowed from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, was not dour and restrictive; rather, it was beautiful, radiant, and fulfilling. As a result, I began to yield to Christ’s purifying work in my soul for the first time. Instead of adopting higher standards out of duty or obligation, I began to honor Christ with my daily choices simply as an outflow of my daily relationship with Him.

“He Is Like Me”

I once heard about a Christian man in a foreign country who was imprisoned for his faith in Christ. His heart was burdened for the soul of a fellow prisoner—an atheist who didn’t know Christ. Day after day, he showed love to this prisoner in every way possible and followed him everywhere, witnessing to him about Jesus. Finally the atheist was fed up with hearing about Jesus. He angrily told the Christian, “That’s it! Tell me in one sentence who this Jesus is, and after that I don’t want to hear anything more about Him!”

Without hesitation, the Christian smiled and told the atheist, “He’s like me.” The atheist paused, considered those words, and then said quietly, “If He’s like you, I want to know Him.” And that day he gave his life to Christ.

If you and I were given one sentence to describe who Jesus is to a non-believer, would we be able to confidently say, “He’s like me”?

When others think of you, do they think more about your personal opinions and convictions than they do about Christ? If so, that’s a sign that you might be placing too high a priority on your own convictions and opinions, attempting to honor Christ out of rules rather than a personal relationship with Him. Of course, that’s not to say that people can’t be impacted for Christ by seeing you living out your convictions. But as Krissy demonstrated, people are far more likely to be drawn to the gospel when they sense the attitude and nature of Jesus Christ exuding from us, rather than just noticing that we dress modestly or avoid certain activities.

If you and I were given one sentence to describe who Jesus is to a non-believer, would we be able to confidently say, “He’s like me”?

Ask God to center your life upon Him, to make Jesus Christ and Him crucified your true North Star. And whenever you start to veer away from that True North, ask Him to gently pull your gaze back to where it belongs, so that others can see your life and honestly say, “She’s like Jesus!”

The world will stand back in speechless wonder when they see true set-apartness: Christians who are not obeying Christ merely out of obligation, but those who have such a passionate love for Jesus Christ that they can’t help but reflect Him wherever they go.

By God’s grace, may our lives reflect Christ’s purity, love, and radiance to the world around us—not through striving, rules, or self-effort, but as an outflow of our daily relationship with the King of all kings. This was the lesson I learned from Krissy—and her example continues to inspire me to this day.

About Author

Leslie Ludy

Leslie Ludy is a bestselling author and speaker with a passion for helping women become set-apart for Christ. She and her husband Eric have published nineteen books with well over a million copies in print and translations in over a dozen languages, including When God Writes Your Love Story, Authentic Beauty, Set Apart Femininity, and her newest book, Set Apart Motherhood. Eric and Leslie live in Windsor, Colorado with their four precious kiddos.

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