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Monday, September 24, 2012

No Invitation for a Power Trip

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48).

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus... (Philippians 2:2-5 NIV).

Today in Sunday school a class member (Julius) who has heard about me in the neighborhood for years said “I hope you don't take this the wrong way Wayne—but you are like God.” For non-Christians this is a red flag possibly descriptive of someone with an insane ego or on a power trip. But for the Christian this is a humbling compliment. All my life I have closely identified with Christ—during one unstable period even thinking I was Christ. But now I understand as do other Christians that such a comment is in no way whatever an invitation for an ego trip or overweening pride. As Jesus said, we are to strive for Godly perfection—or like Saint Paul said, we are to imitate the humility of Christ. Thus becoming more like God and Christ—ultimately becoming a blue-flame witness for them on earth—is not an indicator of blasphemy or arrogance, but of humble commitment even unto death. So when the class member this morning made his comment about me, I was not in any way taken aback or embarrassed, I only smiled and said: “I know what you mean. Like everyone in this room, I strive to be a faithful witness of Christ and to humbly do God's will.”

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