what does it mean to say " I want people to see Christ in me"

My 7da friend said to me that he wants people to see Christ in him ?

I asked him what is he doing that Christ did or told him to do?

How do you fuction with evidence that Christ is directing your life?

Do people tell you that they see Christ in you?

What he is saying is that he wants to be Christ-like and for others to see the Christ attributes in his life-actions-spirituality. He is not saying that Christ has told him to say or do anything, but to be "Christ-like in his own life. We should all strive to be Christ like, don’t you think? Peace.

Think of the old WWJD slogan…be charitable and forgiving.

He might have Galatians 2:20 in mind: I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

I certainly appreciate your question.

The statement of wanting others “to see Christ in you” is interesting. My intuition leads me to think that such a statement reflects the “Protestantization” of the faith (if it is said by a Catholic). Even I was a much more fervent Catholic, this is how I largely approached the faith and sacramental life. Concerning the latter, it was my belief that participation in the sacraments would give one the grace to conduct oneself in a “Christ-like” fashion in the world. Furthermore, the conclusion of the liturgy one is exhorted to “go in peace to love and serve the Lord”.

The statement is indicative of a bottom-up approach to spreading the faith, and does not correspond to how the faith was spread during the late Roman Empire, although it could explain its appeal before the Diocletianic persecution before the Church had significant political influence. The desire for others “to see Christ in you” reflects a strongly Protestantized environment where faith is regarded as a matter of individual conscience and effective evangelization requires individual persuasion. In the case of others “seeing Christ in you”, this would presumably mean that others could see some salutary effect on one’s action, attitudes, and disposition that could be ascribed to one’s adherence to religious faith. From the perspective of Christian theology, the influence on one’s character is usually attributed to the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, this approach to evangelization largely discounts the utility and efficacious of intellectual apologetics that attempt to expound the tents of the faith and defend it from other faiths and metaphysical views, while it emphasizes the transformative aspect of the faith on one’s character and mood. One can be skeptical of the power of intellectual apologetics due to the belief that the evidence and reason alone does not decisively affirm the tenets of the faith or that people are not that receptive to intellectual arguments.

Again, I stated that this reflects the “Protestantization” of the faith. A person consciously adopting this approach (such as myself years ago) would tend to be sympathetic to the idea of the separation of church and state, and would be more likely to see the inimical effect of Church influence in politics. Politics would be seen as a material concern. Being engrossed in politics would corrupt one since it detracts from the spiritual life and would compromise one’s character since it would foster cynical, amoral Machiavellian thinking in order to understand the affairs of the political realm in order to be effective in it. I saw faith as primarily a matter of individual conscience that is mainly concerned with the salvation of souls in the next life as opposed to attaining political influence in this life. From this perspective, it would seem that political influence and privileges are not necessary for the maintenance and propagation of the faith, as toleration in the political realm would be sufficient for the flourishing of the spiritual life.

My question would be whether the notion of wanting others “to see Christ in me” was a strong part of Christian theology before the Reformation. The Catholic Church, especially before Vatican II, largely saw the religious faith as a top-down phenomenon, where the influence of the faith is to be maintained by having the state afford certain privileges to the institutions of the Church. The power political and authority of the institutional Church would serve to influence culture so that it would be conducive to the Church’s morality and the piety and devotion of institutions and to maintain the integrity of Church dogma, the most important spiritual truths relevant to the nature of the deity and life in the world to come. From the Catholic (integrist) perspective, there does not seem to be a need for an individual to be Christ to others, since the institution of the Church is sufficient for the salvation of souls as it is the vicar of Christ on earth. If anything, “being Christ” (or more precisely a model Christian) is just to be pious and loyal to the authority of the Church.

**Daily Prayer of Saint Teresa of Calcutta

**Dear Jesus, help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with Thy spirit and love. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of Thine.

Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Thy presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus. Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as you shine, so to shine as to be a light to others. Amen.


Among the many things about Christ, this one strikes me as I read your questions, that is, if Christ is in you, you, like Christ, you will bring life to the people around you. Do you bring life to people or you are just indifferent or even worse, bring strife to everywhere you go?

I think this:

…34A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

(P.S. For the WWJD folks, remember turning over tables and whipping people is within the scope of possible behavior…:p)

Good answers were already stated.

To me, “I* want people to see Christ in me*” means that our life and witness should hopefully help attract others to want to follow Christ in a real and meaningful way, and not repel them from wanting to follow Jesus.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.