Discipleship: Make Us Like Jesus
As we mentioned last time, the whole point of being a Christian is to become like Jesus: knowing God and loving others the way He did. In fact, the very word “Christian” means “little Christ.” We are supposed to be pictures of Jesus Christ, the way Jesus is a picture of God the Father.
So how do we get there?
By allowing God to align, refine and focus our desires so that we want what He wants. Those desires include both our goals (what we want to accomplish) and our values (the way we want to accomplish those goals).
Do you know magnets work? Most magnets are made of iron, which like everything else is made up of atoms. Each iron atom is actually a tiny magnet, with a north and south pole. But most pieces of iron don’t act like magnets, because little groups of atoms (called “domains”) are pointing every which way and cancel each other out. To convert ordinary iron into a magnet we rub it with an existing magnet, which encourages all the domains to line up in the same direction.
We are like a piece of iron God wants to use as a magnet. We all start out with many desires — from our biology, parents, and culture — that conflict with each other and what God wants. Growing up (becoming mature in Christ) is allowing God to “rub us with Jesus” so that our deepest desires become aligned with His purpose for our lives, and we are no longer distracted by false desires. We call this being redeemed, meaning brought back to the way God intended us to be.
To align ourselves with God’s purpose for our lives, we need to develop three skills:
- Self-awareness: clearly seeing our own soul, especially our strengths, weakness, and limitations
- Christ-awareness: seeing how God is at work in every aspect of our lives, both to redeem us and use us to redeem others
- Other-awareness: seeing where other people — especially those we dislike! — need us to love them the way Jesus does
This is a lifelong process, like Stephen Curry learning to shoot three-pointers. We will never be perfect, but we can always get better. This is the process you are signing up for as you get baptized.
Are you ready?