How do we become like Jesus Christ (& do we really want to)? Interestingly, God is often
more committed to this than we are at times. It’s a good thing, too, for if it all depended only on
us, we would never get very far in the process. We would probably be too easy on ourselves.
Philippians 1:6 tells us, “Being confident of this very thing, that GOD is the One who began this
good work in you, & I am certain that He won’t stop before it is complete on the day that Christ
One of the ways we become like Jesus is by letting the opposite thing happen to us. What
do I mean? Do we need to learn to love? Then get ready for someone you just can’t stand!
Need more patience? Better prepare for some aggravation to come your way! Looking for
some peace? Here’s a little chaos you weren’t expecting! Need a dose of joy? Did I mention
Why is God like this? Is He some sort of killjoy? Does He get a kick out of kicking us
around? In truth, He does this for the very reason that He is the One who starts & finishes
every good work within us. You see, all these qualities really belong to God – love, joy, peace,
patience, & on & on (see Galatians 5:22-23). They are the “fruit” of God’s Spirit that can be
nurtured & grow in the lives of those who believe in Him. God provides all these things we
need, yet we don’t find them – they don’t take root & become a part of our nature – until we
desperately need them. It’s just the way we were made.
If we could develop these qualities ourselves, we wouldn’t need God. We would have rules,
formulas, & steps to go thru that lead to a better you. In other words, religion would be enough.
As it is, we are all deeply flawed in one form or another. Even our best attempts at producing
the right things in our lives in some senses comes up short. Now understand, religion is a fine
thing. It’s just that it has never made anyone like Christ. In fact, the more religious we become,
often the further from Christ we become. We can only mirror Christlikeness by having a
relationship with Him – by needing HIM more & more in our lives.
You can’t make the right stuff out of the wrong material. Or as Jesus put it, you can’t put
new wine in old wineskins. So God allows things in our lives that break the old in order to make
room for the new. The new is BEYOND us. So we are forced to discover it when we are
stretched beyond our means. Thus God brings into our lives the opposite to create in us what
we really need to be who He wants us to be. That’s when we grow.
In the name & love of Christ…