The true message of Christ, the power of love, has perhaps its closest parallel in the perfect picture of a mother’s love for her child, the kind of love we honor on Mother’s Day. Like every mother who has stayed up nights by sick beds, given up her own freedom for the sake of the ultimate good of her children (taking away the car keys means mom has to drive, after all), or spent countless hours on her knees praying for the safety and happiness of her family, Christ did not merely state His message of love. He lived it. He continues to live it, especially through those who choose not to see the baptism by water into Christianity as an ending but a beginning.
Living a Christ-like life means always striving to be more, but not more in the sense of this world. In this world, filled with television, movie, and internet messages, more means better cars, faster electronics, fancy clothes, bigger houses, high-paying careers. In Christ’s world, more means better sharing, increased love of others, joy in what one has, faith that one is where he/she is meant to be and the discipline to walk in the narrow path of God’s truth.
When you have to spend so much time in the world, it is all too easy to fall into the trap of being of this world, all too easy to grab the more expensive brand of something because the commercials have convinced us it’s better instead of saving those extra nickels and dimes to share with those who have even less than we do. When you are of this world and not just in it, it’s too simple to fall into the wide and easy ways of this world. When we choose based on what everybody else is doing instead of what Christ would do, we make our lives simpler in that moment, but we also buy into the devil’s marketing plan, as it were, and his way leads only unto death.
We’ve all fallen victim to it, especially often during the holiday times, when so many ads want to convince us that what they are selling will make us better, happier, more peaceful. But, think about the times you have fallen victim to this marketing. Do you really feel happier? Maybe for a moment, but what then? When you rely on the devil’s marketing plan, don’t you always have to go searching for peace and happy again?
Christ’s marketing plan was simple: love. If we follow this plan, we don’t take actions that will hurt others. We strive to perfect ourselves in aspects of life that really count, like helping others, doing good, being kind, taking joy in nature and each other, including our differences. How different would the world be if these were the messages that flashed across our televisions and movie theatres and computer screens?
We can’t change the whole world, but we can change our own actions and the ways that we interact with those with whom we come into contact. What steps are you taking to grow in your walk with Christ? I will be working this week to set up my goals to mature in Christ. I believe I will start in Galations with the list of the fruit of the Spirit. What about you?