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Monday, October 6, 2014

Hindrances to Becoming Like Christ- Part 1: Justifying Self

List 1                           List 2                          
Bitter                           Tenderhearted
Entitled                       Forgiving
Resentful                     Peaceful
Selfish                         Giving
Rage                            Love
Hatred                         Humility
Arrogance                   Kindness
Frustration                   Longsuffering
Lack of empathy         Compassionate
Anxious                       Hopeful
Depressed                   Joyous
Envious                       Content

If you had a choice between being around a person from List 1 or List 2, which would you choose?

Which type of person do you think other people would classify you as falling in? 

Fact is:

It doesn’t matter where you live.
It doesn’t matter your income or education level.
It doesn’t matter your job title or welfare status.
It doesn’t matter what your past is like—if you grew up in a happy/loving home or a highly abusive home.
The circumstances you find yourself in right now do not have to define what type of person you are.

You decide.

It’s easy to allow yourself to become a person from List 1.

Turn on the TV—doesn’t matter the channel—you see attributes of List 1 exemplified. 

Those are easy to do. Easy to justify. Easy to emulate. 

List 2 on the other hand takes work. 

It means being selfless when others aren’t.
It means giving up your rights and even your wants.
It means living above the status quo.
It means following Christ.

If you call yourself a Christian, profess to believe in the risen Savior Christ, then your life should reflect List 2.

No one is perfect (It's why we need Grace).

We will sometimes find ourselves sliding into List 1. 

But List 1 shouldn’t define us. It should be the exception to how we live—not the rule.

 “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.  Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices  and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator…Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:2-15 NIV (emphasis mine)

A recent research study on Morality concluded that there is little difference between people with religious faith and those without. The main difference was the Pride religious people felt when doing something moral and the Guilt they felt when doing something immoral

Is that really what separates Christians from nonbelievers? Our pride and guilt? 

Brothers and Sister in Christ, this should not be. 

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matt 5:16 NIV

Ask yourself: Does your life (and light) reflect more of List 1 or List 2? 

Join me next week as we delve deeper into becoming more like our Savior.  

FYI, My book,  The Precipice is FREE on Amazon: Thursday Oct 9-Monday Oct 13. Pick up a copy for yourself, a loved one and please spread the word. Thanks! 

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