Being Like Jesus
Forty years ago we returned from teaching in Uganda and moved to a glorious piece of leftover Eden called Calhoun, Ga. In the very first month of our ministry there I officiated at a funeral. After the service on the way to the cemetery I was riding in the hearse with the local funeral director. As we drove out onto the street on the way to the cemetery the oncoming traffic stopped. People got out of their cars and stood at attention as we passed by. I was amazed and received a marvelous education in respect and dignity. This was the south. This was good people who knew the value of human decency. To them this was basic human values. This was treating others as we would be treated.
Romans 12 is one of the most powerful treatises on how we should treat both friends and enemies. What follows is a sample of ideas copied from the paraphrase The Message by Eugene Petersen. Jesus would be so proud if we could be like this.
1. “Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
2. “Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.”
3. “Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.”
4. “Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone.”
5. “Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.”
To be like this in every aspect of our lives is to be like Jesus.