For those of us who seek to know and follow Christ, we have to ask ourselves what our motives are from time to time. It’s important to be loved, but also to ensure we are loving in return…and, even falling in love. And again.
To take on the name of Christ upon our lives is a marriage. It’s a submittal of the will and way of life unto Him, a slow and intentional integration of the heart with His. This surrender is commonly known as discipleship.
Discipleship is consciously, effort-fully submitting to Jesus as Rabbi, which is an integral part of His Lordship. That means we have to embrace being a lifelong learner, which means we will be correcting and changing ways and behaviors even in our older years. That will take a continual humility and honesty with self, and with others.
Two of the hardest things for us as disciples are humility and loving the unlovely. But these are two of the most powerful opportunities to get ourselves out of the way where there is not much left but Jesus Himself, to shine, to pour, to love, to embrace, to touch someone else’s heart…and, in fact, transform ours in the process.
We have the opportunity to give evidence (Bible calls it fruit) of Jesus’ presence and impact on our lives by being different than the majority of people in given situations. But we allow ourselves too often to default to lazy patterns, instead of actively digging in and loving. I need to determine to love better, and then actually go out and do it, even perhaps looking for challenging situations, on the highway, at work, with that person that pushes my buttons…and giving them something that resembles Jesus’ fruit in return instead of what we usually would expect and do.
I want to fall in love with Jesus again, and to care so much about others, that I find myself more and more bearing this fruit because I want people to experience Him as I have. And I want to be known as someone who is different in a good way. I want to be known as His. I will seek to do better in these areas. Will you do this with me? Do not let me do this by myself, please.
What are the reasons you resist humility, with yourself? With God? With others?
And what can you do to remember the keenness of opportunity when someone begins to get under your skin in any given situation?
Let’s really do this. They will know us by our love one for another, as it is written. I do not want to keep having the same experience, keep going through the same life cycles, the ups and downs, every few years coming back around to the same place within where I was before. Let’s step out deeper into this realm of surrender, a little more of emptying out within to make more room for something new, something more…