Friday, February 11, 2011

Make It Happen?

Is it possible to MAKE yourself be Christ-like? I suspect that is what we all try to do - at least some of the time. And yes, there is a place for MAKING yourself do what is right, but no one has the gigantic reserve of self-control that it would take to completely and consistently be like Jesus all the time. Even if a person could do such a thing, it wouldn't make them really Christ-like because it would be egocentric rather than Christ centered. It would build self-righteousness rather than God's righteousness. It would cheapen grace.
The goal is to develop the spirit of Christ in our life not just imitate Christ in our actions. Pretending to be something you really aren't won't hold up when things get tough. Paul warned about the temptation we all feel to conform to the patten of this world. We automatically assume he is talking about "outside" the church, but isn't there just as much a draw to conform to church people - to gain acceptance and affirmation - to dress, talk, and act like what is expected of church people? Isn't it easy then, to assume that since we no longer conform to the outside world that we must therefore be "transformed" since we are part of the "church world"?
That is not what Paul was talking about in Romans 12:1-2! The transformation he was talking about involves "the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." That is a changed heart and not just a change in peer group. This transformation is us being formed into the likeness of His Son!
I have reflected in amazement for decades on why it is that some Christians can become so un-Christlike when discussing things about the Body of Christ? How can children of God justify being unkind, uncaring, and be a ruthless control freaks in the name of Jesus? Unfortunately the answer comes back to the fact that a life "conforming" to Christ is not a life transformed by Christ. If His spirit isn't there, His love will not be there either.

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