When I was in middle and high school, I would spend what felt like hours deciding on what I was going to wear every day. Every thing had to be perfect from my hair to my shoes. Looking back, I realize that all I wanted was to prove myself to others. Prove that I was good enough to be a part of something bigger than myself.
If I looked the part, dressed the part, acted the part, then surely I was going to fit in with everyone else, right?
Even though I strived for perfection on a daily basis, I still felt like I wasn’t quite making the mark.
During my freshman year of college, I went to a women’s conference in North Carolina where I had what I like to call a “Jesus Lightbulb” moment. The speaker was talking to the crowd about laying down our lives to Christ so that we may look more like Him and less like ourselves. We had to surrender the image of ourselves that we were trying to achieve and replace it with a clear image of Christ. It was almost as if Jesus was speaking straight to my heart.
Ever had a moment like that? I left that conference with the burden of having to look and act a certain way lifted from me. Christ, my perfect King, accepted and loved me just as I was!
But what does looking like Christ mean to us as imperfect Christians?
In Colossians 3, Apostle Paul lays out a clear foundation for us for what Christ looks like living through us. In order for us to start looking more like Him, Paul gives us a few steps that we must take DAILY:
First: Cleanse yourself of your old ways and old thinking and let His thoughts wash over you.
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is… Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:1-2 (ESV)
This is not always an easy thing to do. There are often many things that get in the way of this first step: our pride, our anxiety, fear, pressure from the world, etc. BUT we have hope. Hope that one day Christ will return and we will appear with Him in glory (Colossians 3:4). We can cling to this hope knowing that the things of this earth will eventually pass away and we will be with him for the rest of eternity.
Next: Dress yourself in the attributes of Jesus.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience… And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:12&14 (ESV)
This verse is KEY. We were CHOSEN by God and for God to go out into the world and live a life with compassion for those who are hurting, kindness to help meet the needs of others, humility to build each other up, gentleness to the hard-hearted, patience for those who may not deserve it, and most importantly, love which brings everyone and everything together.
Then: Give God the glory!
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17 (ESV)
We see throughout Jesus’s life in the Bible that He consistently gave God the glory for all things, good and bad. When God gets the glory in every circumstance we get an unexplainable peace in our hearts. We live in peace knowing that God is in control of all things at all times.
Paul understood that since we live in a fallen, sinful world, we will all have struggles we deal with throughout our lives. We have to lay those struggles down at the feet of Jesus first and foremost in order to lead a life as His follower.
Today, I chose to not to worry about what I look like on the outside, but how Christ is being shown through me.
Jesus, we pray that we look more like you every day and less like this world. We are thankful that you chose us to be your children. To God be all the glory. Forever and ever. Amen.