There’s a stanza of a Negro spiritual that goes thus:

“Lord, I want to be like Jesus
ina my heart, ina my heart;
Lord, I want to be like Jesus ina my heart.
Ina my heart, ina my heart,
Lord, I want to be like Jesus ina my heart.”

Well, in my heart and everywhere else, I want to be like Jesus, and I imagine that is the longing of every other follower of Christ. But being like Jesus isn’t the easiest thing. Jesus was without sin. The Bible described Him as spotless, “a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:19). That is why He was chosen as the atoning sacrifice for our sins that we might be justified before God.

The journey of salvation does not end with accepting the finished work of Christ on the Cross and having his righteousness imputed to us. We are expected to live out what God has done for us by bearing the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), exhibiting the character of Christ.

In this post, we look at some habits we can form that will help us reflect the nature of Christ. The post does not cover all the spiritual disciplines- Biblical practices seen in the earthly life of Jesus that foster spiritual growth, but links to articles that discuss them at the end.

5 Habits Christians Can Form To Be More Like Christ

1. Putting Others First

When we have a policy of considering the needs of others before ours as the Bible admonishes, loving and being kind to them becomes easy for us.

“3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” – (Philippians 2:3-4).

Jesus lived a sacrificial life. He did not prioritise His own safety, comfort, position or life. He laid it all on the line to reconcile us to God.

The world we are living in is a world that promotes self-centredness. People are all about, “my feelings,” “my truth,” “my rights,” etc. Very little regard is given to how the pursuit of all these my this and my that injure and destroy others.

If we are to reflect Christ to a perverted world, we have to shelve self and do whatever we can to help others before tending to ourselves.

This does not mean that we burn ourselves out or punish ourselves to cater for others. The Holy Spirit will guide us on how to balance taking care of others’ needs and self-care to enable us remain useful for as long as it pleases Him.

2. Living a Life of Service

This is related to the foregoing. Our natural selves want to be served and pampered. Jesus, on the other hand, came to serve. He illustrated this by washing the feet of His disciples even though He was their Master and admonishing them to do likewise (John 13).

Furthermore, when the disciples argued about who was the greatest among them, Jesus told them that the greatest among them should be like the youngest (who is expected to do most of the work) and he who rules among them should be the slave of all. He then used Himself as an example- He said He wasn’t among them to be waited on but to serve others (Luke 22: 26-27, Mark 10:42-45).



If we are too full of ourselves and always looking to push work to others, while doing nothing or very little ourselves, we are not following the example of our Master Jesus. Rather than shirking responsibilities and having a do-nothing reputation, let us be the one that comes to mind when there is work to do because of our commitment and earnestness in handling assignments given to us. And let us go beyond that, to fill the gaps when there is work that is neglected but vital.


Sometimes, we have the attitude that except we are paid, we wouldn’t do anything. Pretty soon, even what we are paid for receives scant attention and shoddy treatment.

How much was Jesus paid to travel all over Israel to preach? How much was he paid to teach His followers as diligently as He did? It’s not about payment, it’s about attitude. This can be seen in Jesus’ declaration that, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”- Mark 10: 45

3. Focusing on Heavenly Things

The world is full of temptations and distractions that can pull us away from the Lord if we let them. From media entertainment to social media interactions, hustle for wealth and fame, romance, interpersonal and group obligations, work pressures, you name it. While some of these things are necessary, if we don’t allow our relationship with God and pursuit of heavenly things to set the tone of how we handle them, they will unsettle us and pull us out of His orbit.

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” – Colossians 3:1-2.

If we allow ourselves to be sucked into worldly things, they will dominate our thoughts and confuse our values. Then, rather than represent Christ, we’ll be defaming Him, being led by our own conceit and whatever fad the devil is selling at the moment.

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak James chapter 1, verse 19

4. Being Slow to Speak

One spirit that muddies our witness as Christians and paints us as opposites of our meek Lord and Saviour is the spirit of anger. No matter how we strive to live peaceably, there will be situations and people that will aggravate and infuriate us. It is in those moments of fury that we often say and do things that bring a reproach to the name of our Master, Jesus.

If we can learn to wait things out before speaking, we will save ourselves from a lot of trouble and regret. In Numbers 20:8-12, Moses spoke rash words because the children of Israel provoked him. God said, “Speak to the rock and I will bring water out of it for the people to drink.” Instead, Moses screamed at the people: “Come here, you rebels! Let’s get you water out of this rock!” And he struck the rock. Water did pour forth for the community to drink, but Moses’ neglect of the divine injunction that made it seem as if he had the power to do miracles by himself cost him entry into the Promised Land. (Bible quotations have been paraphrased.)


To be more like Christ, we must learn to tame our tongue.

“We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.” – James 3:2

5. Practising the Spiritual Disciplines of Prayer, Bible Study, Fellowship and Evangelism

In addition to living a life of service (stewardship) mentioned earlier, we cannot reflect Christ when we are not engaging in the basic activities that we need to grow our spiritual muscles. We need to pray as the Lord Jesus did for counsel and strength from God to walk the right path (Mark 1:35). We need to feed constantly on God’s word, which is a purifier and light to dispel darkness from our path (John 15:3, 17:17; Psalm 119:9, 11, 105).

We also need interaction with fellow believers as iron sharpens iron and we need to share the gospel, for in so doing we demonstrate the power of God as Jesus did (Proverbs 27:17, Hebrews 10:25, Mark 16:15-18).


We are called to shine as lights in this dark world, to be like our Saviour, thereby convicting the world of its guilt as Noah did by living righteously in the midst of iniquity (Hebrews 11:7). We have the Holy Spirit and God’s abundant grace but we must form the right habits if we are to live out the nature of Jesus and serve as His ambassadors on earth.


Almighty God, help me not only to aspire to be like Jesus, but to discipline myself towards forming the right habits that will cause my life to remind people of Him everyday in Jesus’ name. Amen.

The scriptures used in this post are from the New International Version of the Holy Bible except where otherwise stated.


You may also like these related posts:



Resources on Spiritual Disciplines



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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.


  • Ezeah Jennifer nnedinso

    Thats great, it is a stepping stone.

    • I would understand your comment better if you clarified What is a stepping stone? And stepping stone to what? Have a blessed new week!

    • Ozioma

      The message is crystal clear but like you earlier mentioned, difficult to follow in a world like ours. This is however, where his grace comes in, to sustain those that are willing. Thank you for this piece ma.

  • Emmanuel Eze

    We must all endeavor to live out our faith but this is only possible by God’s Grace… Thanks for this, ma’m!

  • Nwoye Chiamaka Favour

    Truthfully, it is difficult to be like Christ. Forgiving those who wrong us, praying for others, constantly doing good, etc. But with the help of Holy Spirit and fellowship with the brethren as you said, it will lead us in the right path to becoming Christ-like . May God help and guide us so we can be like His Son.

  • Azoribe Blessing Amarachi

    It is never easy to be like Jesus it takes grace

  • Ossai Chidimma Linda

    The qualities of the spirits are difficult, I recall putting someone before myself so much that I began to resent her , I felt bad but couldn’t hide I was feeling.
    Though I believe this “Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart” is the asking, intending and not relenting.

  • Eze Goodness mmesoma

    We try our best to be like Christ sometimes it’s hard but that’s what he teaches us to be more like him

  • Nwaduche Oluebube

    Only the Holyspirit can help us to be like Jesus, and I’m glad He’s here to help us every step of the way..praise God

  • Williams blessing Ngozi

    Putting others before oneself is sincerely hard .I pray that God helps me become a better person.

  • Oruma Nneoma Goodnews

    The first point which is Putting Others First was rightly supported by that scripture which says”Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit(Philippians 2:3) I say this because even though most people want to put others first, they usually have ulterior motives for doing that.This writeup opened my eyes to a lot of habits i should cultivate as a christian.I pray for the grace to carry them out.Amen

  • Emmanuel Ejiofor

    Putting other people before ourselves even though hard, is one of the important qualities any person aspiring to be like Christ should first possess. Christ put us before him when he sacrificed himself for us in the cross. That is an example we should look up to.

    Thank you ma for this inspiration

  • It is not easy to be like Christ but with the grace of God upon us we will do our best.
    Thanks ma for ur words of encouragement

  • Igwe Chioma Esther

    This is a beautiful one. In addition to what has been said,there’s a trend that says “do you”a lot of people,even Christians use this word in the most inappropraite way. As Christians we are modelled after Christ and our actions should reflect Him alone and not be controlled by the flesh. We need to understand that we are being led by the Holy Spirit so whatever action is displayed,is one of the spirit and not of flesh.

  • Opara Oluchi Dorathy

    Putting others first and living a life of service is a difficult thing to practice, because at the end of the day it seems one is at loss.
    I believe with the help of the Holy Spirit it will be made possible to practice in Jesus name.

  • Ntiwunka Chiamaka

    It really takes a lot to be Christ like, but we ask for the grace that comes from the Father to stir us towards the direction He wants us to go, I believe that by practicing these steps we would become better christians.

  • Adebanjo Adenike Rebecca

    A genuine Christian must put others first, in whatever he or she does, though not to the detriment of themselves. A life of selfless service to people without minding if any benefit is attach to it. Living a life of legacy just like Jesus Christ.
    Accepting Christ as one’s Lord and Savior should not end there, but also be practicing spiritual disciplines of prayers, studying the Bible, fellowship and bringing souls to the kingdom of God through evangelism.

  • Isaac thankgod

    Gods grace we pray

  • Ajah Ugochi Agnes

    Firstly, Jesus was without sin. The Bible described Him as spotless, “a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:19). That is why He was chosen as the atoning sacrifice for our sins that we might be justified before God”. I will say it takes the grace of God for one to dwell in God’s words without sin. For one to avoid temptation and focus on heavenly things, one needs the grace of God. Everything drives down to the GRACE OF GOD. We need the grace of God in all aspects of our life. Mathew 6:21 says: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be”. I pray the grace of God help me overcome all manner of temptations that may beset me and set my mind on things that are heavenly and not vain.

  • Abiayi Ifeonuchukwu

    Very inspiring ma’am. Yes,a lot of people think that imitating Christ is easy,but when we look at it ,it isn’t easy at all. The best part about living for Christ and like Christ is the wonderful blessings He has packaged for us.

    The number one way to me, seems harder than the others for people to keep to and this is simply because everyone wants to think of themselves first before anything or anyone else.
    I pray God will help us in this Christian race.
    God bless you, ma’am.

  • Sochi

    Thank u Ma for this writeup.I pray for grace to inculcate these habits because most times they sound easy but very hard to put into practice.

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