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What does it look like to follow Jesus?

April 30, 2007

I have been asking this question a lot over the last two weeks. Last week at my home group some conversation included references to “mature” or “true” Christians, and later in the week I came across similar references on a couple blogs. If we are classifying people as “true” Christians, doesn’t that mean there are “untrue” or “false” Christians? If so, what does it look like when they follow Jesus as opposed to how I follow Jesus? What makes them wrong and me right? It sure isn’t the fact that I do it without messing up, because I mess up daily.

I want a relationship and faith that is built on truth and is walked out in a manner that is both pleasing and glorifying to God, but also proper toward others. I have wrestled a lot with what following Jesus looks like in my relationship with others.

Does following Jesus mean being honest? Always?
Does following Jesus mean speaking truth? Does it sometimes mean not speaking certain things, even if they are true?
Does following Jesus mean not just forgiving, but also forgetting?
Does following Jesus mean we are to live differently than others? If so, how?
Does following Jesus mean I am to live a life that others can’t find fault with? Is that even possible?
Does following Jesus mean loving at all times? Holding people accountable? Confronting wrong behavior? How can it mean all of those?
Does following Jesus mean both encouraging others and being honest about decisions others make that are not encouraging you? If I am being honest about that, how is that encouraging them?
Does following Jesus mean just doing my best and accepting my failures? Am I doing my best if I am failing?
Does following Jesus mean loving Christ in the only ways I know how and trying to learn more each day, or are there guidelines I have to follow?
Is being saved as simple as just believing, or does it require more?

I am not sure what a “mature” or “true” Christian looks like, but I want to learn what it means to love Christ with all I am, and to love my neighbors deeply in healthy relationships. Yesterday, my pastor asked what we would be willing to die for? My first thought was Christ. Then he asked, what we are willing to live for. I want that answer to be Christ also. To do that I have to start now because with every breath, I am living. What does it look like to follow Jesus? I don’t know that answer yet, but I hope I am taking a step in the right direction.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 27, 2011 2:37 pm

    Does following Jesus mean being honest? Always?

    This you are not capable of… we should try but Jesus is the Truth. All have (and do) sin and fall short of God’s glory. Let Him then deal with your weakness and open your self to His work in you.

    Does following Jesus mean speaking truth? Does it sometimes mean not speaking certain things, even if they are true?

    Try to be honest with yourself and others but see the top answer

    Does following Jesus mean not just forgiving, but also forgetting?

    If your truly forgive you have already forgotten. Anything less and you have not completed the task.

    Does following Jesus mean we are to live differently than others? If so, how?

    Yes Jesus will send the Spirit to transform your life. You have no control of this change, trying to control it is getting in the way of the Lords work.

    Does following Jesus mean I am to live a life that others can’t find fault with? Is that even possible?

    Living life means there is fault, others will find it. To pretend it doesn’t exist is in itself a lie. Your openness and honesty is what makes others trust you… you aren’t the only one in the “struggle”. Your pain and hardship it what builds who you are. God refines us like gold in a furnace!

    Does following Jesus mean loving at all times? Holding people accountable? Confronting wrong behavior? How can it mean all of those?

    Yes it does mean all of that… once you can focus on being accountable for yourself, confronting your deep desire towards wrong behavior, and to allow yourself to be loved by your maker… well you won’t have time to even look at anyone else… you will take up all your time if you are committed.

    Does following Jesus mean both encouraging others and being honest about decisions others make that are not encouraging you? If I am being honest about that, how is that encouraging them?
    Does following Jesus mean just doing my best and accepting my failures? Am I doing my best if I am failing?

    judgement is the Lords. Be encouraging. Try saying and believing “I see you, and I accept you just as you are” then you have been and encouragement.

    Does following Jesus mean loving Christ in the only ways I know how and trying to learn more each day, or are there guidelines I have to follow?

    All you have to do (which is hard for all of us) Let the Lord lead and simply follow Him… more of Him less of Me!

    Is being saved as simple as just believing, or does it require more?

    Let the Lord show you! You will be amazed and you will know when you have even seen a glimpse. Remember God meets you where you are… He has always been there reaching for your hand… If, you don’t see Him keep looking I see Him right in front of you, reach… you need to just open your hand.

    • February 27, 2011 4:20 pm

      Thank you Brett. A lot has changed in my life, faith, and spiritual maturity in the four years since that post. The Lord is amazing and meets us where we are individually.

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