When I get grow up, I wanna be just like…
Mom. Dad. Grandma. Grandpa. A superhero. A ballerina.
I wonder how many times this sentiment has been voiced in the days of youth since mankind populated the earth.
I’m sure you said it at some time or other. And I’m sure I said it.
When we get older, we say…
I wish I could be like…
Like so-and-so. She has it all together. (Or so we think.)
Or I wanna be like him. He’s so successful. Or he’s such a good father.
Or I wanna be like her. She’s so beautiful. Or such a good mother.
Or he or she is so talented, so kind, so giving, so whatever.
But how many times has this been said…
I wanna be just like Jesus.
Not nearly enough.
The path to Christlikeness is the road less traveled. The path barely worn. And sometimes, hard to follow. And when it does get hard to follow? We want to give up.
If we truly desire to be like Jesus, we cannot carry a cemetery on our back of all the broken things in our lives. Ashes of dead desires and losses. Pieces of heartaches and shame. Shards of anger and unforgiveness. Stockpiled sins and self-condemnation.
It all weighs too much. It must be released.
To be conformed into Christ’s character, His righteousness, His purity, and all His other traits, we need to expect things like persecution, sacrifice, and death to self to roll out before us on our journey.
Joni Eareckson Tada said, “God is more concerned with conforming me to the likeness of His Son than leaving me in my comfort zones. God is more interested in inward qualities than outward circumstances – things like refining my faith, humbling my heart, cleaning up my thought life and strengthening my character.”
The Father uses everything in our life to mold our character. Whether to build it up for good or to chisel away the unwanted buildup of our heart.
Ken Gire said in his book Moments with the Savior, “When the Father begins crafting a character, a crunching must first take place. Not because he’s a temperamental artist who’s angry with his work, but because the raw materials for his art come from a broken heart.”
And “once the shattering takes place, it is his hand that reaches into our brokenness to pick up the pieces. And piece by painstaking piece, he fits them together in such a way as to form the likeness of the Son he so dearly loves.”
He is the Master Artist. He sees the slivered shards as possibilities. He gently scoops up the fragments of our heart’s brokenness, our circumstances, our past, and melds them into a beautiful Masterpiece.
Our heart cannot be camouflaged to look like the traits of Jesus. It must be real. Carried out every day we breathe. Our heart must be pure, cleansed of all that barricades us from reflecting the life of Christ.
Every act of our faithfulness, of our obedience, of our trust, is us reaching out to hold onto the Lord. Every such act becomes a delight to His heart. As signs of our becoming more like Him.
What traits challenge the full development of Christ’s character in my life? In your life?
“The one who says he belongs to Christ
should live the same kind of life Christ lived.”
1 John 2:6 NLV
Abundant blessings, Lynn