Trying To Live Like Jesus
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As I write this message my wife, and I are enjoying an extended camping trip in the Northeast Georgia mountains, surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation. Every Thursday night is karaoke night at this campground. If you have tried karaoke, you know that it’s not easy to sing like the original artist, yet people muster the courage to try. It’s also not easy to live like Jesus did, but this should never stop us from trying to emulate him. Please read more……
The past two Thursdays I gave karaoke my best shot by singing several songs. I love to sing and I chose songs that I really like. Over the years, I have probably sung these songs a million times while singing along with the radio. When singing along with the original artist, I don’t think I sound too bad. However, when singing alone in karaoke, I sing off pitch and off key. It is just plain scary to stand before an audience and try to sound like the original performer. Despite being nervous, the risk of embarrassment, and the reality that I am not that good, I still try. What about you? Have you ever sung karaoke?
Karaoke is as a form of entertainment in which people attempt to sound as close to the original artist as possible. To be honest, most people who try, including me, don’t sound much like the original artist, but we sure have fun trying.
In a karaoke-like manner, we Christians are called to emulate Jesus. We desire to love like Jesus did. We desire to show kindness to others like Jesus did. We desire to be gentle, caring, and thoughtful like Jesus was. We desire to be forgiving and merciful like Jesus was. In a metaphorical way, you could say that we are trying to sing like Jesus did. In the end, however, just like with karaoke, we are never as good as the original artist.
Clearly the Bible calls us to be imitators of Christ. You could say it calls us to sing His tunes. Take a look at just a few verses.
1 John 2:6 states, “whoever claims to abide in him ought to live just as he lived.”
1 Peter 2:21 says, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.”
In 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul says, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”
In Ephesians 5:1-2 Paul states, “So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.”
Will we fall short when we try to live like Jesus lived? Of course we will! The allures of this world and the temptation of sin will always cause us to sing off key. But we must keep trying. To live a Christian life, we must try our best to walk in Jesus’ footsteps and live like He lived. It takes courage and commitment to try.
Some people are afraid to try karaoke. They don’t want to be embarrassed. Some Christians are also afraid to try to do some of the things Jesus calls them to do. It can be scary to live a Christian life. It is often in conflict with the current trends in society. It can be scary to forgive someone who hurt you in some way. It can be scary to go out to help the homeless and hungry. What scares you most about being a Christian?
There are similarities between singing karaoke and being a Christian, but there is one huge difference. No professional recording artist has ever called us up on stage to sing their tunes. If they heard us, they would most likely cringe. On the other hand, Jesus called us by name to sing His tunes. Every day He invites us up on the stage of life to try our best to imitate and follow Him. He knows we will likely be off key, and He is okay with that. He just wants us to do our best.
In conclusion, I guess you could say that Christians are called to summon the strength and courage to sing Christian Karaoke. Psalms 96:1-2 tells us to, “Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.” Therefore, let us all go forth singing His praises as we walk in His footsteps.
Heavenly Father, I desire to live and love like Jesus did, but I seem to always fall short. Please forgive my shortcomings, pick me up when I fall, and grant me the courage to continue striving to be the best Christian I can be. Amen!
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He or she who sings prays twice. I think I heard that from the nuns in grade school.
Thanks & God bless
Your message today brings to mind this thought from Fr. Stephen Freeman….
“What shall we do with young men? What shall we do with young women? What shall we do with the rest of us as well? We must sing the Lord’s song, and sing it well, until the generations of the moment and of the years to come can begin to hear that it is the song of their true lives. It is God’s love song to us all, sung in a human key. It is also the key of the Divine, but only the most silent hearts can hear that.”
Thanks for sharing this quote Bob!
Here’s another similarity between karaoke and living a Christian life – a guide. In singing karaoke, you get to follow along with a soundtrack. In striving to be Christian, we also have the guide called “stewardship.” Stewardship provides the perfect soundtrack for living as disciples, imitating Jesus as well as we can. As stewards, we put God first in every area of our lives, acknowledging Him as the giver and provider of everything we have. We receive His gifts gratefully, manage them to our best ability, and share them out of love and justice with our neighbors. We put God first by praying, fasting, and giving alms. Following these teachings everyday can be – as you say – scary and in conflict with our culture. But, the rewards for doing so are out of this world!
Thanks Brian. As always your letter made me think, and I can extend your metaphor a bit. I always thought I had a decent voice, not great but passable, until my kids convinced me otherwise. I have found that if I sing with a group of people and stand next to someone who has a good voice, I can sound much better than I sound alone. That reminds me that when I am part of a faith community with others who are often “more in tune” than I am, I do better. I appreciate yoyr wisdom and insights. God Bless!
It is always nice to read your posts. Thanks!
Wonderful theological reflection. I’ll join my voice with the myriads of others singing His praises, then it won’t be solo karaoke. Thank you for your friendship.
Thank you for your post and for your friendship.