Make Becoming Christ-Like Your Goal

In Should Assertiveness Be Your Goal? we talked about how some people often feel like doormats but struggle with becoming more assertive. We came to the conclusion that becoming Christ-like, which sometimes involves being assertive, is really the better goal. Let’s look at how to move toward that goal.

Make Becoming Christ-Like Your Goal

Christ was certainly assertive, but he was also humble. This truth is evident throughout Scripture, especially in the Gospels. His life illustrates the perfect balance between confident aggression and humility.

Knowing Christ more and becoming more like him is the key to knowing how we should live and interact with others. It’s the key to knowing how to be assertive and humble at the same time. It’s the only way to know when to go the second mile and when to voice our plans, preferences and desires.

If the goal is to become Christ-like, not to simply be more assertive, we must first realize that one blog post, book or sermon (or even 10 or 20 or 100) cannot cover all of how that happens. Instead, we can begin our lifetime journey of progress toward perfection. We can start by looking at a few basics to create a foundation to becoming Christ-like even when our flesh or the world encourage us to focus on being self-confident.

Almost any part of the New Testament can guide us in becoming more Christ like. We find a terrific example of how this works in Ephesians 4.

Walking Worthy

Right away in Ephesians 4 we find a list of how “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called… humility… gentleness… patience… tolerance… love… unity…” (Ephesians 4:1-3).

Throughout the chapter, we receive instruction on how to live this out. With just one or two readings through Ephesians 4, quite a few pieces of instruction jump out for how we  “learn Christ” and are “taught in Him.” In other words, how we become more like Christ.

  1. Be equipped.

    This is why we have pastors and teachers. They help us understand and apply the instructions given in God’s Word.

  2. Speak the truth in love.

    Essential to maturity and unity in Christ. Also a sign of stable growth. Learn to talk through difficult stuff and to do so in a loving way.

  3. Be angry without sinning.

    While we can appreciate that anger isn’t forbidden, it’s important to realize that we cannot let it linger whether justified or not.

  4. Monitor what you say.

    Avoid saying anything unhealthy and destructive. Instead, words should edify and build up.

  5. Be kind.

    Forgive as Christ forgave you. Be tenderhearted, sympathetic and compassionate. Often, we must show kindness even when it’s undeserved.

You can find these habits progressing in the lives of Jesus’ disciples in the New Testament as they spend time with him during is earthly ministry. They’re even more evident as they spread the Gospel after receiving the Holy Spirit. Even many individuals (Joseph & David, for example) in the Old Testament provide examples of these principles being progressively lived out.

Most importantly, you can find all of these habits exemplified in the life of Jesus during his 3-year ministry as well as implied in his life before then (Luke 2:52). Pick any Gospel and read about Jesus’ life on earth, and you’re sure to spot these habits carried out in perfection.

Our Helper

Jesus was certainly meek and mild. He balanced love and truth with courage. He was also proactive and commanded respect while also being humble and loving. His example shows us how to be assertive without becoming self-focused and over-aggressive.

As we seek to become more Christ-like, a lifelong endeavor to be sure, we can place our confidence in his desire to help us. Not only can we get this help in the pages of Scripture, but we have supernatural help us as well.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.” (John 14:16)

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:26)

“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.” (John 15:26)

Progress Toward Perfection

As we progress toward perfection, we can have confidence knowing we have a perfect example to follow. We have imperfect ones too that can also help us in our goal to becoming lie Christ.

Consider the following posts to help in your effort of progress toward perfection:

Ordinary to Extraordinary

Most of our lives exist in the realm of ordinary. Work. Eat. Family time. Sleep. Days blend one into another as ordinary keeps us moving through life.

Ordinary makes up most of life, and don’t we find comfort there? Comfort in routines and habits and traditions. Comfort knowing that even amidst a constantly changing world, some things endure without change.

For most of his life on earth, Jesus lived a very ordinary life. He walked from place to place. He went to weddings. He took naps. He rested and refreshed as needed. He learned a trade. He travelled with his family. Yes, Jesus largely lived an ordinary life.

We know some details about Jesus’ life as a baby (Luke 1:1-2:40), and we know just a little about him as a young boy (Luke 2:41-51). But we know very little about his life in between those times and up until the extraordinary times that were the last three years of his life as a man on earth.

But here’s what we do know about that relatively obscure time in Jesus’ life:

“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52 – NIV)

This verse sums up well how the ordinary part of Jesus’ life prepared him for the extraordinary. Jesus shows us that, handled properly, the ordinary prepares us for the extraordinary that life serves up from time to time. The work and play done in the ordinary moments teaches and strengthens us for the challenge of the extraordinary.

The application? Enjoy the ordinary moments. Realize that living in the extraordinary would exhaust us. Consider that the ordinary allows us to truly know the extraordinary. In fact, the ordinary prepares us for the extraordinary.

And, as the ordinary parts of our lives flow one into another, we can look back and see that many of those ordinary moments were extraordinary after all. Your kids’ laughter. An evening walk with your spouse. Bedtime prayers and family game nights. Those ordinary events contributed to growth in wisdom, strength and favor in ways only the extraordinary can reveal.

DISCUSSION: Think back over the ordinary moments of your life. What stands out now as truly extraordinary?

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Related Posts:

Permission to Have Ordinary Days at Everyday Awe.

Note: Be sure to out my guest post Rekindle the Christmas Story on Everyday Awe.