Friday, May 28, 2010

what does it mean to be CHRIST-like?

these last couple of days, i've been meditating on the question...what does it mean to be CHRIST-like?

keep in mind, these are just my thoughts and questions, not judgements.

i ask because i went to a private christian school as do my kids, and one of the end-of-the-year awards is "most CHRIST-like." over the years, i've seen many kids be awarded this honor, and over the years, i hear much the same explanation for why.

among them?
"i've never had any trouble with this child."
"she/he wants to be a missionary and said that JESUS is her/his hero."
"she/he always smiles/greets me with a hug."
"this child always gets along with her/his classmates."
"this is the sweetest child."
"she/he always does what i ask/is very obedient."

and among other things, this is what i know about JESUS:
  • he was a revolutionary
  • he didn't aways get along with people
  • he broke the rules
  • he made the religious community so mad, they ran him out of places and eventually had him killed
  • he got angry and protested injustice
  • he took up for the underdog/rejected/sick/overlooked and spent time with the under-privileged
  • he didn't suck up; he treated people honestly and fairly
  • he was compassionate, humble, a servant, merciful
  • he was fearless and confident
  • he loved and cared for women and children, so he had to have been approachable and likable, not at all like the picture we tend to have of him... hands raised piously with solemn facial expressions saying, 'bless you, my child' to everyone he meets
  • he was a carpenter

we tend to think that the most CHRIST-like are those who aspire to become missionaries, pastors, sunday school teachers, and the like. JESUS started out as a carpenter. imagine this: a carpenter/a builder/contractor who does excellent work for fair and honest wages, who takes an interest in the families he serves. are we less CHRIST-like if we aspire to be a journalist or an engineer or a plumber? does being CHRIST-like mean we always get along with others or follow the rules?

who is JESUS? what did he do? i've been inspired to find out more for myself.

i'm just asking.

insights welcome.


Amy said...

Nice post, Hope. And, I agree. You don't have to be a missionary, minister, or teacher in order to be Christ-like. What being Christ-like means to me is a lot like what you said in your post. We're supposed to be compassionate. We are supposed to help those that are less fortunate than we are. We're supposed to reach out to the lost, not avoid them. We're supposed to have integrity. You can do that in any profession. If we have a job in the secular world, it doesn't mean we're less Christ-like. That's our mission field. We're all ministers of a sort. They pay attention to how we live our lives, not just our words. Like you said, He was revolutionary. He honestly answered the questions asked of him by the Jewish leaders. But, He also showed mercy to those that came to Him in repentance. He didn't send them away because of their sin. He showed them compassion. We all say the Lord's Prayer. In it, we ask Him to "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." That's the heart of being Christ-like for me...showing mercy.

Mark said...

Hope I don't know that I have any insight but I do have a huge AMEN! That is a powerful thought. I went to Christian School too, and we had the "Jesus Award" and I always wondered what it was about. Usually it was better called "compliance." LOL. Great thoughts that challenge me.

Anonymous said...

Hope, I so agree with Ginger. I also feel as though you have to have money and material things such as big beautiful homes and a expensive car to drive and the most name brand clothes to wear with labels are to important and trying to out do the Jones Family if you know what i mean!!! I am happy with what i have and my husband has a great job and i know we could really stand out if that was important to us.. If i won the lottery today, I would do all that i could to help people and i do that now with actions!! I don't attend church all the time now either due to not understanding what has happened to the church.. I am not speaking of everyone but i do know so members drink and dress and gamble and do things that i was taught would make me a sinner.. Some i see what to witness to me and i am so sorry but i don't want them to due to the lifestyle that i do not agree with.. I feel like i am a christian but like Ginger, I feel like its more of a social club now and i don't have to join to go to Heaven. I think if you decide to go to a certain denomiation then you should follow their beliefs or go somewhere else and I also know ones that sing on Sunday and dance their booties off when given a chance even around other christians in a very vulgar way. No i can't enjoy service knowing all of this.. NO one is perfect but if you talk it so stongly than you should walk it the same.

hope hammond said...

wow! i was gone all day and couldn't check my blog or emails. i was blown away by the responses both here and on fb. thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and insights. every year, i have these same thoughts. i finally decided to share them. thanks for continuing the conversation.

Anonymous said...