When your gut reaction is less than holy, remember who God has called you to be.
I don’t know about you, moms, but do you feel like the biggest test of your faith occurs on the field and/or court?
Several months ago, our high school basketball team was hosting our cross town rival at our gym. There had to be at least 1,000 people packing the seats. People from all over the county come to watch this rivalry. It was during the 1st quarter that the student section from the opposing team began to chant some downright terrible, awful, nasty words about my son while he was shooting free throw shots. In fact, the words were so awful they are classified as hate speech.
Moms from our team looked back at me, tears in their eyes, and said, “Trudy, I am so sorry.” Our fans were in awe of the words being spoken, while parents of the opposing team, people I would call friends, scoffed and did nothing.
My husband had to literally hold me in my seat. “Are you going to do something or am I?” I was madder than a wet hen, ANGRY, to say the least. My husband, cool, calm, and collected said, “Trudy, give it a minute. I’ll go talk with their principal at half time.”
In that moment, grace, mercy, forgiveness was not a thing. I felt so justified in my anger. You can hurt me a thousand times over but poking the mama bear brings on rage and me seeing all kinds of red. Especially in this instance. The words were uncalled for, hurtful, and downright unfair.
Romans 8:29 says, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
God’s plan over our lives is for us to be more like His Son. In order for us to know and live like Him, we need to study God’s word and learn who Jesus was while on this earth, pray and listen to His promptings, let the Holy Spirit guide our words and actions, and serve His people.
Being Christlike requires us to be less human and more holy. This is sanctification at its best…the process of becoming holy.
In order to become like Him, we need to learn His characteristics.
Who Is Jesus? He is…
Compassion – Jesus showed compassion for the least of these, the widows, the fatherless, the forgotten, and the sinners time and time again.
Forgiving – while being nailed to the cross, Jesus forgave those who were about to crucify Him. “Forgive them, Father! They don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
Faithful in prayer – Jesus would go off by Himself, seek stillness, and speak with the Father.
Servant hearted – He fed thousands of hungry people, He washed His disciples feet, and He raised the dead and healed the sick.
Gentle – This is perhaps my favorite characteristic of Jesus. While He definitely called out sin, He was gentle in doing so.
Humble – Jesus the Son of God, the King of all Kings, He could have been prideful in every sense of the word, but He was far from it.
Loving – Jesus loves us so much that He was willing to die on the cross for us. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Which one of these characteristics do you find most challenging? Are you holding bitterness in your heart against someone? Do you love fiercely but withhold that love from someone in particular? Are you forgiving but cannot forgive that one thing? Do you find it hard to believe in the power of prayer? Or maybe life is just so busy, it’s hard to find time to pray.
That moment in our local gym, I was less than Christlike. I felt justified in my anger. How could they? I have a strong sense of right and wrong. It’s something that was ingrained in me at a very young age. However, I must understand that not everyone carries the same moral compass I do. I have to learn to be okay with that and love others where they are.
What if my response is different than their expectations? What if in that moment, they see a glimpse of Jesus? That is difficult, challenging, and uncomfortable. It’s constantly dying to self.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
I long for the day when I have the strength to be that Christlike.
Our call is clear, friend. God knows us, calls us by name, He has given us the command to honor Him in the process of becoming more like His son. This is not an overnight transformation. No, it will take some time, a little bit of grace, and a drive to do better next time. On the other side of our fleshly desires we get to experience a more loving, joyful, fruitful life. How sweet will those days be.
God girl. Wife. Mom of 4. Author of Reclaim Her Heart: Empowering Moms to Raise Teen Daughters with Kingdom Identity in a World of Conformity. Host of the Kingdom Mamas podcast. Speaker. On mission to cultivate authentic faith in the next generation.