As Christians, we should always strive to be more like Christ. But it can be difficult to know how to do that in our everyday life. What are the opportunities we may be missing to become more Christ-like, and what can we do today to follow in the footsteps of Jesus?
Danielle Bean, brand manager for CatholicMom.com and host of the podcast Girlfriends, stopped by Morning Air® this week to offer some concrete ways you can be more like Christ today. Drawing on her advice from a recent episode of Girlfriends, Danielle offered these four suggestions:
Forgive Someone Who Doesn’t Deserve It
We all have opportunities to do this. We all have people in our lives – in big things and in small things – people who we categorize as not worthy or not deserving of our forgiveness and our mercy.
Maybe they’re not sorry. Maybe it’s an ongoing issue. It could be 100 different things that we put on the list of why they’re not worthy of our forgiveness. And yet Jesus gives us beautiful examples throughout his time on earth – and even as he was bleeding and dying on the Cross – of forgiving people and asking for God’s mercy on them.
That’s a good way to be Jesus. Think of someone in your life you are holding on to unforgiveness with. Maybe it was just harsh words with somebody as you were going out the door this morning, or maybe it’s a long-time thing going back to your childhood. We all have opportunities to forgive someone who we categorize as undeserving.
If you go through the Gospel stories, Jesus time and again notices people. Like Zacchaeus stuck up in a tree, Jesus calls him down when nobody else would have noticed him there. Or the widow whose son he brought back to life after death, because he took pity on her. The woman at the well who was a nobody to the people of her time, certainly nobody to the Jews, and not even someone Jesus should have been speaking to according to the custom of the time. But he noticed her and he gave her this important role to play inside of all of salvation history.
And we all have opportunities to see people, to value the people that God places in our lives. It might be a homeless person you are walking past on the street, it might be a student in your classroom who might be quieter than usual and needs a little bit of support. It might be a child in your home or your own spouse, people we are tempted to take for granted or not pay attention to, who God is asking us to be present to.
We all want to be seen. Ultimately that is how we feel uniquely known and loved, is when other people see us and notice us. And that is a wonderful gift that we are able to bring to the people God places in our path every single day.
Jesus gave us this beautiful example of communicating with his Father, and going away to do it. He had his regular public ministry, but throughout it he would go away for periods of time to pray.
It’s an example for us and we should be doing the same thing. Making sure that we have time set aside in each day, especially when we’re doing hard things as Jesus was during his years of public ministry. We need to be making the time to talk to our Creator like that. We need to be talking with God, building that foundational relationship with God. And it doesn’t happen by accident, it happens by us deliberately making that a priority.
Drink the Cup You are Given
Jesus gives us that example in the Garden of Gethsemane of praying and not wanting at all what he knew was about to happen. Yet praying those beautiful words, ‘Not my will, but yours be done.’
It’s very hard to do. And yet Jesus gives us the example of it and he gives us the strength to do it. So whatever it is inside of your life, this cup that God might be asking you to drink, I promise it’s not as hard as the one that Jesus accepted. So start where you are and ask for the grace that God wants to give you to drink the cup that you have been given.