There is a lot of ‘talk’ in the blogesphere these days, as well in the churches, of a ‘Jesus shaped’ spirituality. “Doing” our best to walk like Jesus, to talk like Jesus, to act like Jesus, to do the things that Jesus told us to do.
That certainly wouldn’t be a bad way to live, would it? Of course not, in fact it would be a great way to live!
There’s just one little problem. We flat out refuse to live that way.
“What would Jesus do?” Well, first off, none of us knows what Jesus would do in any particular incident that might arise in our lives. Secondly, we are not Jesus…we are us.
I have said it before in this blog that I am reminded of these things whenever I come across a homeless person that I will not take home and feed and clean up. The same homeless person that is in every city, large or small, that no other Christian will step outside of his comfort zone to take care of. The same homeless person that might have been saved from a life scrounging through trash cans, or from drug abuse, or from mental illness that comes with living alone on the streets.
With so many professed Christians in this country you’d think that there wouldn’t be any homeless left to wander the streets.
I do imagine that the ‘Jesus shapers’ have taken a large number of these poor folks off of the streets and into their homes. They are not concerned with anyone stealing their goods, or attacking them physically, for Jesus would not have feared those things. They are not concerned about having to spend a bit more of their hard earned money on a stranger if it means bringing someone back into society and giving them back their self respect and possibly a job and possibly getting them back to church or in one for the first time. They are not concerned about what other people in their family, or what their neighbors might think. Jesus certainly would not care about what others might think.
“Well, I don’t have to do all these ‘Jesus things’ perfectly, I just have to make an effort.” What is that all about? To me, that kind of talk is a cop out. That kind of talk is feel good talk for the self. A kind of balm for the conscience. That kind of talk allows me to continue to play the game. That kind of talk is not countenanced when Jesus says, ” Be perfect as thy Father in Heaven is perfect.” What kind of games will we play with that one? All kinds.
I have a better idea. Why don’t we let Jesus be Jesus, and we just settle for being us?
Why don’t we just live as best we can, doing the best we can, and trust that the Lord will be there with us in all things. Why don’t we realize that our job is not to try and impress the perfect God with our feeble efforts at emulating Him, but rather we are to live our lives and help our neighbors wherever possible. And when we fail to do so in a way befitting our calling then we are forgiven.
Isn’t that enough?