Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Be Like Me

The boldest people you will ever meet are those who know themselves well. They aren't perfect and they don't try to pretend they are. They have gotten to know themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, their beauty and their ugliness and they live in the boldness of that knowledge. The weakest people you will ever meet are the pretenders; the ones that work so hard not to know themselves. They avoid seeing their ugliness and they never want to admit their weaknesses. They pretend to be strong all the time.

However, life isn't always about being bold in our knowledge of self. This kind of boldness is not going to get you very far and will probably still leave you pretty messed up. You see, we are a busted creation and nothing we do will ever amount to very much. We need another ingredient added. It is not enough to know self. We have to know self but the greater ingredient is knowing Jesus. In fact, it is in knowing Jesus that we realize we are not a lost cause. We realize the greatest part about knowing self is that we know that we can't do it on our own, that we need Jesus. Those who pretend will never realize they need Jesus because they are never willing to deal with their imperfections.

It is in this sense, of knowing self and knowing how much Jesus has done in him, that allows Paul to say quite plainly:

I plead with you, brothers, become like me, for I became like you. (Galatians 4:12)

This is not like some Hollywood star saying, "Hey, copy me". It is not like some millionaire that everyone studies to see how they too can become so rich. This is a man who was forced to face his own ugliness, embrace the truth of it, and then become broken so Jesus could put him back together.

Paul was not a success according to this world but he was becoming a spiritual success. He wanted everyone to become like him, in his love for Jesus and in his dedicated and faithful service. Paul was a bold and fearless man, but not by any strength or ability he had but because of the relationship he had with Jesus Christ. Paul was no dummy and he had all the tools to become rich and successful according to this world but his only desire was to be obedient to Jesus Christ.

All of us have been called to this same boldness but the boldness begins when we realize how far short we have fallen from God's grace. When we realize how much we need Jesus and then realize everything Jesus has done for us, we gain a great boldness. We are able to realize that if God gave us his very best what good thing would he hold back from us. He has given us everything and nothing is a barrier to us. Our boldness is found in our faith just as it was found in Paul's. We trust every word ever spoken by God, every promise ever given, every teaching and instruction laid out by Jesus. We trust the direction of the Spirit and believe we are equipped and empowered (anointed) to do what Jesus told us to do.

All of us should be found in that place of being able to say "become like me" when we refer to our faith and relationship with Jesus. If we can't then we need to realize the truth of it and take steps to correct our luke-warmness. Live boldly in Jesus my friend.

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