Over the course of my life as a Christian, 55 years, an observable change has taken place for in my opinion the better. Younger clergy have given up the idea of “being like _______” you can name the religious guru of your choice. For the most part, the experiment of pouring novices into a mold made in the image of the reigning biggie has failed and ceased being the “in” thing.
As the move, away from such practices continues, there will probably be fewer crashes of public ministers, due the load being lifted from attempting be like Jesus, like Mom wants me to be, (Mom’s idea is often far removed from the biblical example) or being like our pastor, or college president. The list gets longer, but you get the idea.
The emphasis thus far in this article has been on preachers and serious Bible students. Yet many people invest too much time attempting to be another movie star, TV healer, or JFK. My sister, Bertie, always thought I should attempt to channel Cheetah, Tarzan’s famous companion, as in her opinion Cheetah and I enjoyed the same IQ.
In my case it is a major accomplishment to say, “I don’t care,” instead of using the expression Rhett Butler made famous near the end of Gone with the Wind.
When Jesus Christ invited people to “follow me” He was inviting them to a totally new life, empowered by His Spirit, to lead an exemplary life of compassion for others having an intense desire to see them prepare for Heaven via being born again. He demonstrated what He meant by imitation and this demonstration had little to do with modern concepts. Some of the meanest people I have ever known met all the “conditions” laid out by religionists, yet they had none of the spiritual traits of Jesus!
A very brief statement concerning the drift of today’s article leaped off a page, I think it nails the entire treatise in five words:
“Insist on you. Never imitate.” Emerson.
When you think about it, the true Christian life is really The Holy Spirit expressing the Christ life through we humans who surrender to His leading and enabling.
Copyright © 2017 Larry Lilly
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