Have you ever encountered a person who just 'dripped Jesus'? Always seeing the best in people and situations even if the world was crashing down. Always had the right thing to say, even if it didn't match the circumstances. Always spoke well of people and encouraged forgiveness even though they themselves were hurting? I know people like this. I used to think they were superficial and am guilty of labelling them 'happy clappy christians'. I used to think they were a bit crazy, and wondered how on earth they could bring themselves to be soooo GOOD. Honestly it kind of made me a bit nauseous, not to mention skeptical. How could someone be that in-control of their own emotions let alone their tongue? I struggle to keep it clean let alone holy. Ha! Just to be clear, I am not a bad person. In fact I have it on good authority that I'm pretty ok - BUT far from perfect, and I know I have work to do in the quest to become like Him.
So back to the point. The truth is these people do exist. Yes they do. Yes they are for real, and yes they do function from the heart of Christ. I've discovered irrefutable proof! They aren't perfect either but they are consistent in their attitude and actions. I am both stunned and deeply in awe of them, so much so - that I am determined to get there myself. And not just SAY IT like the multitude of good intentioned, but actually DO IT. Most of my christian life I have struggled to be like Christ. That's just the truth. I know Him. I love Him. I understand that He is my blueprint, and I realise that I must endeavor to imitate Him in order to show the world that He is as real as you and me. It is easy to say this, but not so easy to do it. It is easy to speak of Him but not so easy to be like Him.
Recently I was given an opportunity to be like Him and instead of trying to be the best version of me (which was damn hard given the circumstances) I decided to take a page from His book. Literally. You know what....you can read the bible every day of the year and that may make you holier than anyone else (?? yeah whatever) but if you can't put those words into action then it's just a waste of time. Don't even bother straining your eyes. That's just my humble opinion anyway. This week I decided I needed to go back to the basics and really look at who Jesus was/is and how He deals with stuff. For too long I was seeing someone else's version of Him, so it was time for me to discover the real deal. The Gospels are a great place to start if you want to hear His actual words and advice to people like you and me, so I began my journey in the book of Matthew.
Well well well. Wait right there as I rewind a little bit:
All week I've had the word MERCY on my heart. And let me tell you!! His mercy is essential. I know I wouldn't have made it this far without it and yet...If I'm honest I know that I haven't exactly been feeling very merciful in my own soul. Expecting something from God and then withholding it from someone else who needs it isn't exactly "being like Him". Same with the gift of forgiveness. All good to expect and accept it from God when you need it, but at the same time you're happy to hold a grudge against someone else. It just doesn't work sorry. So I started reading the first few chapters of Matthew, specifically chapter 5 and low and behold, the "mercy" word begins to jump out of the page. Obviously the big guy upstairs is trying to tell me something. The question is....will I listen? But more importantly, will I act? Like I said, easy to talk about - not so easy to actually do!
Long story short: Words are great, but actions really do speak louder. The best kind of action is the stuff that makes you cringe, sweat, hurt, and ultimately fall to your knees. Kind of like leg day at the gym. The harder it appears, the more spectacular the results. Even if the end result is just precious peace in your heart - because you knew that you had done it and for that one beautiful moment you behaved like your Saviour - the King of Kings. You also know that if you could do it once, you can do it again - and what's more.... You want to! Nothing beats it. Now its your turn to smash the happy clappy christian stereotype. Go on, I dare you.