Friday, January 4, 2013

Becoming Christlike

When I was growing up, I heard--or at least thought I heard--preachers teaching that Christlikeness or Christian virtue is gained in an instantaneous "experience" that leaves man fully Christlike. I do not know if I misunderstood what was being said or if this was an accurate understanding, but I sought such an experience, and once I got to the end of my seeking, I was left with a repentant, surrendered, committed will but with areas in my life that were not Christlike and had to be surrendered one-by-one as I recognized them.
Years down the road, I still find areas that have to be changed. I keep trying to better understand Him, and I keep watching my life to align my values with His, to share His mindset, to trust Him in all things. Much growth has come in this process, and life continues to get better and better as I walk with Him.
The Apostle Paul speaks of learning to be content in whatsoever state. What a huge lesson, and it took me many years, but Thank God! I have begun to learn the source of happiness, the joy that is in my reach every moment of the day. I am convinced that no thing can bring contentment. Only in  a peaceful, trusting relationship with my Heavenly Father is true happiness and lasting contentment found.
C.S. Lewis says in The Magician's Nephew, "What you hear and see has a good deal to do with where you are standing; it also depends on what sort of person you are." How powerfully true! Think about how two people can share an experience and come away with such different reactions. So much of how we react to life depends on where we are in our mind or "heart," what sort of person we are.
May Abba help each of us make our peace with Him so that we can embrace the contentment that can follow. May we recognize the Bible teaches us to "put on," to "follow after," to "seek with all our heart," to "pursue" the essence of what Jesus was. If we are waiting for an "experience" which is said to make us instantly fully like Him, we just might be wasting precious moments. We just might be missing moments that could bring us closer to reflecting His grace, His beauty. We just might miss what can make our lives better and better, what can allow our hearts to rest contented.