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Lord, Help Me to be My True Self!

In my last post I discussed how we are called to be authentic; and specifically, how our personalities sometimes get in the way. I have to admit that I too have a side that I don’t want others to see. This has become more important to me because last summer I had the opportunity to work heavily with high school students. These kids walk around every day desperately wanting to have meaningful relationships. They fear rejection and failure and loss just like the rest of us except you can easily see it. I had a choice to behave like the guy that has it all together or I could allow them the opportunity to see someone who understands the nature of sin, struggles with it and genuinely wants to live in the power and presence of God. I tried to teach them that being a Christian is a process. We don’t put the baby to bed one night and go to the crib the next morning to find a fully independent functioning adult. It’s the same with being a disciple (convinced adherent) of Jesus Christ. We are in the process of being conformed – not conforming – to the very nature of God. However subtle the difference, there is a difference. I cannot do the work of God. My very nature loves my sin even though it is destructive to my soul. I can’t turn a light switch on my human nature. I cannot do any work to be conformed to Christ. What I can do is ask God to give me the desire to become more like Jesus. “The difference between conforming ourselves and being conformed is the vital issue of control.” (M. Robert Mulholland, Invitation to a Journey, page 25) We must submit our very will to the control of God. We must ask God to live in us and for us to live in Him. Jesus talked about this the night before his crucifixion – check out John 17. The result is people will change around you. They will see that they don’t have to be perfect.

We are being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others: more on this in my next post.

Creed Branson, Executive Minister

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