the way to be more like Jesus is to spend more time with Him and in His word

The Only Way: How to Be Like Jesus

“I have stored up your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.”

Psalm 119:11 ESV

The only way to be like Jesus is to spend time with Him.


I did it again. It wasn’t because of the words others heard or my silence that I screamed at them. It wasn’t even an unkind look.

But what I did was just as bad.

I didn’t open up my heart to someone when they opened theirs up to me. I chose to hold back because my feelings were hurt, and I just couldn’t quite let go of how I felt long enough to care about them.

Hours later, when I was thinking about my selfishness that showed up as a lack of reaction more than obvious unkindness, I realized something.

I was feeling bad about the subtle way I treated someone, the unkindness that only I knew about, when that wasn’t even the real issue.

The real issue was, and always is, my heart.

I spend a lot of time with my thoughts when I don’t spend time reading the Bible. I listen to my own voice when I don’t spend time in prayer listening to the voice of God. I tend to make my own plans when I don’t bother to follow the path for my life that He has so graciously paved for me.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” - Proverbs 3:5-6

If my heart had been pure, if I had truly been full of the kind of unselfish love I see on the pages of the Word of God, and if I had been able to humble myself, I would have smiled back.

I would have been able to honestly speak words of kindness. I would have been able to reciprocate what was being offered to me.

But my heart had been feasting on bitterness.

I had been listening to echoes of thoughts that come my way when my feelings are hurt, when I get my eyes off Jesus, when I focus solely on myself.

I realize that I probably only came across as a little distracted, maybe even aloof.

I know I didn’t do or say anything that would incriminate me. I didn’t let the ugliness that my heart was soaking in make its way to my face or my words.

But I was not who I should have been because that’s not possible without God guiding me.

spending time with Jesus guarantees that when others look at me, it will be Him that they see.

What if my heart was so marinated in God’s Word that I began to act like Him?

What if, instead of letting my feelings get hurt over and over again, I could actually look at the other person and feel nothing but love for them?

What if I could get so close to Jesus that I start to look like Him, start to act like Him, start to understand that everyone needs forgiveness?

What if I finally understand that this life isn’t about me at all?

What will happen when I trust Him so much that I fully rely on Him for every single thing?

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go: I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” - Psalm 32:8

If my heart was on display the way my face is, what would the mirror reveal to me?

If I could hear what is in my heart as easily as I hear the words I say, would I cringe and cry out as the unholy sounds made their way to my ears?

Even as despair grips me, as I wish for another chance, I know God is extending His Hand to me right now. I know He is willing to pull me up and offer me His grace.

I know I will get another chance to offer that smile and speak kind words.

If I want it to be real, I must choose to spend time with the only One who loves unconditionally, the only One who can teach me.

My only hope is Jesus.

He’s all I’ve got, but He’s also all I need.

And His love flowing through me is the best gift I can give away. 

If it’s real, it will be effortless because spending time with Jesus guarantees that when others look at me, it will be Him that they see.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” - Matthew 5:16 

Reflection:

  1. What is one way you’re going to spend more time with Jesus this week?
  2. What do you think people notice first about you?
  3. What do you hope people notice about you?

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