Saturday, July 04, 2009

The Question

I’m sure my friend and mentor didn’t understand the explosive power of the bomb he dropped on me.

His simple question transformed the way I have thought about sin, temptation, and the Christian life.

I met weekly with my friend for encouragement and mutual accountability in agreed-upon areas of weakness. For three weeks running I had to confess failings in one particular area. “I hate that I’m saying it,” I said quietly, “but… I did it again.”

“Here comes the lecture,” I thought, knowing I deserved it.

My friend paused, then asked me this simple, profound, and powerful question:
“That’s not consistent with Christ in you, is it?”

In that moment God catalyzed something wonderful in my mind. Following Jesus is not about making my heart and mind better through external “righteousness.” Following Jesus means my thinking, acting, and living should flow out of the glorious reality that I am a new creature in Christ.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) The reality of this new creation is the primary source of all wisdom, godliness, and righteous living (see Galatians 6:15).

Use this question to help frame your decisions. When you’re faced with a choice, you can ask “Lord, what’s most consistent with Christ in me?”

Use this question to resist besetting sins. When you are tempted, it helps enormously to ask “Is this consistent with Christ in me?”

Use this question when you are fearful, or weak, to remind yourself of the character of Christ in you. “Is this consistent with Christ in me?”

Let us be grateful people, confident in “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)


Vern Brown said...

It's good to see you [and the Blog] back from your vacation - 'kidding'!!

I truly enjoy reading your 'thoughts' especially those that touch 'nerves', like your question: "Why aren't they changing?" That was one of the reasons I stopped teaching [years ago]. I guess I'll have to pray about that [again]!

Anonymous said...

Hello Glen,
I & most believers truly understand that situation,
we spend so much time teaching & being taught the
"what to do's" & the how to's" that we begin to think that our salvation &
subsequent sanctification are of our own doing. Not SO!!! " For it is Christ at work in us both to will & to do" Not trying to deny personal responsiblity but only Christ through the work of the Spirit has the ability to transform lives.
Just like children we only imitate & emulate that which we have constant contact. So we must spend more & more time fellowshipping with the Christ of the word allowing him alone to influence our lives, as we do we will find more & more the answer to the question will be that our behavior is becomeing more consistent with that of Christ's