Paul was not being boastful or arrogant when he made this statement. He was laying down a basic principle of discipleship. He was holding out his life in Christ as an example.
In this spirit, I urge you to consider the ways that God has worked in my life, knowing that he can work in your life in the same ways. Let me share some specific things that I have found essential to my spiritual health.
Looking at the heart – The Bible tells us that man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. This is a truth that cuts both ways. Too many times, we hide who we are behind our outward appearance and too many times we judge people by what we see and not who they are! I have been guilty of doing both in my life. I’m sure that you have too!!
How do we change? It starts with a commitment. I want to see people through the eyes of God. To do this, it helps me to understand myself. I know that I desperately need God to make it through each day. When I surrender to my own will, I generally make a mess of things.
I know that people need God! I know that we all are desperate for something better! No matter what someone looks like, no matter how they act, no matter what they say, I am committed to see them as God does. That commitment is completed as God’s power works in my life to change my perspective. My commitment with his power makes this transformation possible.
Many people experience great difficulties in life. They make bad choices and become trapped in nearly hopeless situations. It would be easy to write them off, to avoid them and, instead, turn our attention to someone less needy. We must recognize that Jesus died even for those who seem hopeless. He loves them – we must love them, too!
I see Jesus as the answer for every one of life’s problems. God’s word provides the answers we need. Jesus brought us the life giving good news we need. When we listen to him and when we follow him, everything becomes possible.
Believe that there is hope for everyone, see everyone through the eyes of God and begin to look at the heart instead of the outward appearance. It will help transform you into the likeness of Jesus!