Written by Evi Idoghor
I recall my prayers being flooded with phrases like "Father, help me to become more and more like Christ every day." This is because, like everyone else, I have days when my patience runs thin, I am easily irritated, I am overwhelmed by what is going on, and I don't feel like praying or even studying the bible. Even though we easily associate the term "Christian" with anyone who claims to believe in Jesus, our name as Christians means "Christ-like." The question is, however, whether we truly resemble Christ. Or do we truly want to be like Jesus?
The answer could be a resounding yes! Perhaps we want to walk on water or have a large following, but we are more likely to ignore the fundamental qualities that should guide how we live our lives daily. Gentleness, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, love, and humility are examples of such qualities. In today's article, I'll go over some of the characteristics that Jesus possessed and why we should strive for them as Christian
1. Gentleness: Jesus poured out his heart to God in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before being led to the cross. According to what the Bible says, he was in a lot of pain. We forget that, like us, Jesus had days when he was tired, hungry, or slept. He experienced a wide range of emotions, just as we do. As a result, the thought of dying on a cross was not an easy feat.
He asked his friends (the disciples) to pray for him, and then went a little further away to pray. Following the prayer session, a group of people arrived to arrest him. When Jesus inquired as to who they were looking for, they replied that it was him. Before he could leave with them, one of his companions (Simon Peter) drew his sword and severed one of the Pharisees' ears.
Jesus told Peter to lay down his sword in John 18:11. I'm not sure what does if that doesn't convey gentleness. Although Peter acted emotionally, Jesus did not resist the people who harassed him until his death - he was humble. After all, he was the one who said in Matthew 5:39, "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. Turn the other cheek to whoever slaps you on the right."
Be cautious of becoming enraged or retaliatory. God has said, "Vengeance is mine, and I will repay." (Romans 12:19). Gentleness can help you grow and mature. Things do not easily faze you. Because of his innocence, Jesus had every right to lash out, but he chose to be gentle.
2. Compassion: When Jesus saw people in need, he was moved because he was so full of compassion. He never turned a blind eye to the plight of others. The bible tells of a man who had been ill for 38 years. So, back then, God sent an angel to the earth at a specific time to stir up the pool, which was known in Hebrew as Bethesda. There were many sick people by the pool, each with a different ailment, and whenever the angel stirred the water, whoever got in first was healed of whatever ailment they had.
So, this man had a disability that made walking difficult for him. You can imagine how he felt all those years; he was right in the middle of what could have been his miracle, but there was no one to carry him into the pool. Everyone seemed to be concerned with themselves or their loved ones. As such, he lay there for 38 years, hoping that something would happen one day. Fortunately, his day arrived. When Jesus came across the man lying by the pool, he was in town for a feast. So, he asked, "Do you want to be well made?"
"There is no one to put me in the pool when the water is stirred," the man replied, "and while I'm on my way, someone steps down ahead of me."
"Rise, take up your bed, and walk," Jesus said to him. And he was instantly made well. (See also John 5:5–10)
We must be quick to assist those in need. We may not be able to feed the 5000 like Jesus or heal the sick, but our assistance, no matter how small, can go a long way and change someone's life. Related Post: Why Is Jesus Celebrated During Christmas
3. Focused: Jesus did not waste his time on frivolous pursuits. He was preoccupied with the affairs of his father. He stayed behind with the scholars after the Passover feast at the age of 12 to learn from them. His comprehension and responses astounded them. According to John 2:13, Jesus drove away the people who were doing business in the temple.
The disciples then remembered that centuries ago, it was written about him, "Zeal for your house has eaten me up." There was a time when he was teaching, someone got up and said, "Tell my brother to share our father's property with me." "Who made me an arbitrator over you?" Jesus responded.
He had one thing only on his mind, and that was the kingdom of God.
Give your undivided attention to whatever God has called you to do. Don't be like the person who buried their one and only talent. God created you for a purpose, and as such, you should live out that purpose for him - one day, you will give an account to him.
4. Loving: Love was the driving force behind everything Jesus did. In John 3:16, Jesus is quoted as saying, "for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life." Jesus was a living demonstration of God's love for us. So his motivation for all of those great things, including his teachings, was love, because he desired that no one perish but spend eternity with him.
In John 11, a story unfolds about Jesus and a family he had befriended, which included three siblings, two women (Mary and Martha), and a man. (Lazarus). A message was then sent to Jesus, saying, "the one you love is sick," pleading with him to come quickly and heal him.
For some reason, Jesus postponed his visit to them by two days. As a result, Lazarus died before he arrived. Everyone was weeping and mourning by the time Jesus arrived. In John 11:35, the Bible says, "Jesus wept." He did, however, raise Lazarus from the dead by calling his name, to which Lazarus responded by coming out from the grave!
This story demonstrates Jesus' love not only for this family, but also for us. He gave Lazarus a second chance at life, and he has also given us a second chance by sacrificing his life on the cross so that we can all be reconciled to God. That is, if we truly believe he came, died, and was resurrected.
We should all be willing to love one another while accepting each other's flaws. As Christians, the world will know that we are his disciples if we truly love one another. The reason we find it so difficult to live our lives in the way God desires is because we try to do so in our own strength.
In the book of John, Jesus promised his disciples that he would not abandon them (us) as orphans, so he sent another helper, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is here to assist us in living our lives for Christ. So, when we find it difficult to love, be patient, forgive, be kind, compassionate, or do whatever God wants us to do, we should be willing to seek his assistance - "for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." - Philippians 2:13.
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