Why Is It So Hard to be Like Jesus?
The prayer of my heart every day is to be more like Jesus. I have finally realized that I’m not doing well in this area. God must agree with me, because He sure is giving me lots of opportunities to practice.
I heard someone say long ago to never pray for patience, because God will bring trials involving friend, family, and foe into your life to cause you to grow in patience. Who enjoys trials? However, I think the same is true when I pray to be more Christ-like.
When Jesus walked the earth, He loved all people and gave everything He had to reach others, regardless of how they treated Him. People were unkind to Him, mean, rude, hateful, and plotted evil against Him. Yet He showed them kindness and love. He forgave and moved toward them.
When I encounter these same people in my life, my first reaction to the pain and discomfort they cause is defensiveness and then avoidance. Next, I question God. “Why is this happening to me, God? This hurts and I don’t like it! Deliver me from this anguish.” God’s response is, “Wait a minute. I’m answering your prayer to be more like Jesus, and you need practice—lots and lots of practice.” I get it.
My dilemma is this: How do I love like Jesus and at the same time erect boundaries to protect my heart (Proverbs 4:23). There are no cookie-cutter answers, but the answers I need for my situation are in the Bible. Therefore, I humble myself, repent, pray, read His Word, and listen for the Holy Spirit to direct my steps. He will, for my trust is in Him. He is patiently teaching and strengthening me and transforming me more and more into the image of His dear Son. Is this life-long process fun? Not really, but it’s good for me.
Why is it so hard for me to be like Jesus? He’s perfect, and I’m not. I still have a long way to go. Thankfully, He is very patient and forgiving. I need to be more like Him today. “Lord Jesus, be big in me today, because I’m not.”
“Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh” (Romans 13:14).
“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11).
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).