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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Being a Christian is HARD!

Lately it has become increasingly clear to me how hard it really is to be a Christian. I continue to find ways that I’m not living out the calling of Christ. In fact, mostly what I do these days is fail at doing what is required of me as a disciple of Jesus: In my self-centeredness and impurity of heart. In my thin patience and lack of concern for others – especially when they aren’t nice. In my eagerness to defend myself and judge those who I don’t like (or who just occasionally annoy me.) Some of these things may not make it beyond the heart and mind to manifest themselves externally, but they are all present in a very real way. And it is undeniably clear that as followers of Jesus, we are called to something higher. We are to be people of peace and compassion. However, I am discovering that as nice as that sounds, it is a very difficult thing to actually live out in everything I do.

It’s not about simply changing some of our actions. It is about changing ourselves, purifying our heart and mind so that manifesting that self-sacrificing Calvary-like love of Christ comes naturally, or at least a little bit easier. It requires opening our heart to the transformative power of God through prayer, scripture, and the sacraments. It is a process – one that I wish didn’t take nearly so long. But as slow as progress may seem, we must continually draw our strength from the Lord and strive toward that calling of perfection.

Father, have mercy on us. Forgive us of the times we have failed to represent you and your love for all people. Give us the grace to be more like you. Conform our hearts to be more like yours. Cover us with the humility of Christ, that we may always seek to love and serve our brothers and sisters, that we may grow to become more the people that you created us to be, more like you.

It’s hard to turn the other cheek,

Hard to bless when others curse you.

It’s hard to be a man of God,

You know it’s hard to be like Jesus.

- Rich Mullins

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