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Why can’t we follow Jesus without changing who we are?

June 9, 2009

scaleI recently read something like this in a book. I sat awed, dumbstruck, and confused. My initial response was that we couldn’t be unchanged and I was shocked at the ludicrous question, and then I thought further about the way many people live.

Recently someone has looked outward at my life and has said I am living unchanged. I don’t fully understand why that statement was made, but I have spent a lot of time looking deeply into my life and reflecting on how my life has changed over the last 24 years, what hasn’t changed, and what I want it to look like.

There is a big Christian word called sanctification which basically refers to the process of becoming more like Christ. “One of the highest compliments that can be paid to someone in India, even to a Hindu, is to say, “That is a Christlike person.” (Transforming Leadership by Leighton Ford) The reverse is likely also true, or should be true for those of us who are believers, if we are told that we are not a Christlike person it should be the greatest insult we could receive. It should stop us in our tracks and cause us to take a serious look at our life.

A few years ago I led a youth retreat called “Proof of Life”. It was named after the movie, but the content was about how our lives should reflect the proof of God in them. Everything I do, every thought, motive, belief, action, word, etc. that is in my being should be reflection of God at work in my life. When the solicitor calls, when the children are wild, when you get pulled over for speeding, when your friend calls with a joy in their life….each time our response in thought, word, and deed is a reflection of our core beliefs.

If someone looked at your life what would they see? Would they compliment you and tell you that you were Christlike? Would they only be able to say it about certain areas of your life? What will be your wake-up call to make you look closer at all you do and say so that you become a better witness for Christ?

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