The One: Experience Jesus Week Six

The One: Experience Jesus | The Follower

“So imitate me, watch my ways, follow my example, just as I, too, always seek to imitate the Anointed One.” 1 Corinthians 11:1 The Voice

Photo by @hannaburton__

Acting is an art that imitates life, the actor reads the script, gets an idea of the whole story and the part they play, rehearses their lines etc. But acting isn’t only something that a few people do for a living; it’s also something that we encounter every day. People imitating a concept of the person they want to be seen as. They can have an idea of what they want their life to look like, what job they want, how they should dress, speak, act, for the purpose of creating a sense of identity.

photos by @andreassmitz

This is an issue for all humanity including Christians. Even though as Christians we have received Jesus into our hearts, we can still live with a mind-set that sees us creating an identity and lifestyle in order to gain acceptance from God and people. We can fall into the trap of trying to create a persona that we think other people and God would be more accepting of and impressed with.

Photo by @hannaburton__

This reminds me of the movie Edward Scissor Hands. As the film starts, Edward’s creator is putting together all the necessary body parts but before he can finish he dies, leaving Edward with no hands. Edward then creates hands out of scissors, to try and complete the work the creator started. This however scars him, as the sharp blades cut his face, he then lives in isolation and fear, until he’s found. Like Edward we can feel incomplete, and in a lot of ways we are because when it comes to our heart we are a work in progress. But spiritually speaking we’re complete, our creator didn’t stop half way through, spiritually we’re perfect. As followers of Jesus, we are new creations; our identity should now be settled. We don’t need to prove to anyone who we are; we’re free from that burden of people pleasing.

Photo by @hannaburton__

The great thing is that God has called us to be part of the creative process as we implement things in our lives to build a healthy heart and a healthy relationship with Him. But we have to rest in the knowledge of what Jesus has taken care of that we can’t add to or change (the spiritual completeness that comes from accepting Him), and then commit to being co-workers with God on those areas that can be developed (the heart, character, our relationship with Him). When we hear that we should imitate Jesus, it’s not about losing our personality and become Christian clones. It’s about looking at his character and nature, seeing the wonder of who he is, what he did, why he did it. Our hearts will naturally turn to Him, draw closer to Him and begin to reflect Him.

 Photos by @hannaburton__

Questions

Q. Why is it so difficult for many Christians to live a transparent life, being open and honest about their personal struggles and obstacles to spiritual growth?

Q. How can we sometimes act differently around certain people because we’re trying to gain their approval, looking for their verdict that you are validated?

Q. Have there been times that you’ve used your God given gifts and talents to impress others

Action

There are times when we need honest feedback about areas in our lives that are in need of addressing and we’re blind to. Meet up with a close friend that you trust completely and ask them if there’s an area in your life that is seeking validation from a place other than God.

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Photos by: @andreassmitz & @hannaburton__