Can anybody I know say, "Leanne not only shares the gospel, but lives it"? What an impressing question. What if I spoke about Jesus, but my life didn't look like His? What if I called myself a Christian, but behind closed doors, I acted like a pagan? I think it's amazing that people saw the Thessalonians example of faith, and it was enough. It spoke louder than words. I want my life to imitate Christ so much, that words are simply repeating the example I show. Lord, may people see my life and know you are God.
I have to admit that most of my life, I aimed to please people. I somehow needed approval from the people around me- even people I wasn't friends with, even people I didn't respect. For some reason, if I felt unaccepted by them, I felt very insecure. Thank Jesus that He rescued me and became all that I needed. Thank Jesus that He is the only person I need to please. I can't say I never struggle with a need for approval or acceptance- I think all of us in some measure struggle with it. But the good thing is Jesus IS all we need. We need to remember that our worth does not come from the mouths or minds of man, but from God who created us!
I think it is so important to have someone in our life who feels comfortable enough to speak truth into our lives. We all need to be held accountable to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel. We all need exhortation and encouragement. Do you have someone in your life that can speak complete truth in your life, someone who you would receive from well? Without exhortation and encouragement, we may stunt our own growth. If we have no one pointing out sinful patterns or encouraging us in our walk with the Lord, we may get comfortable where we're at in our growth. Walking with the Lord should be a constant forward progress- always changing, always learning, always moving.