So a couple of weeks ago I came across a blog that is also Catholic (there are lots out there don’t let secular society make you think there aren’t!) and the author had a post encouraging her followers to be Christ-like. Now she seems really authentic and sweet, not that I’ve ever met her, and it is good that she is encouraging her followers to put their faith into practice. I can tell her intentions were good. However I just really hate the term “Christ-like.” I hear it used a lot and honestly I just think it’s a bit presumptuous. Not only that, it sounds stressful, like it would leave people always on edge, trying to be perfect all the time with God watching over your back every second of the day. I know I can never be Christ-like, even on my good days. My nature is the opposite of Christ’s. But that doesn’t stop me because I don’t want to be Christ-like, I want to be Christ.
I know, I know. If being Christ-like sounds presumptuous, being Christ Himself sounds blasphemous and unrealistic. But hear me out. During Jesus’s earthly life He consecrates Himself to God His Father. He prays in John 17:11 “…Holy Father, keep them in Your name that You have given me, so that they may be one just as we are.” I honestly think He means by that that by the power of the Holy Spirit His consecration to God was so total that He and God were one, prompting Jesus to be so incredibly humble that He would take no responsibility for His good deeds and heroic feats on earth, giving all the glory to God. And this sentiment is echoed in Paul when he talks about the Holy Spirit saying in Galatians 2:20 “No longer I, but Christ lives in me.”
This is the type of thing I want. To be so on fire with the Holy Spirit that it is no longer myself, but Christ who lives in me and through me. I know in my heart that if I spent every day imitating Christ I could never be like Him. On my own I don’t have the holiness, the willpower, or the grit. It will leave me tired, frustrated, ineffective and maybe even spiritually dry. But fortunately, it’s never been about what I can do, but what Christ can do for me. I believe He can send me down His strength and His Spirit to accomplish the impossible. And He does, because He has this incredible capacity for love (at least that’s how I explain his enduring love for me). I think the world today is the way it is because so many people settle for being “Christ-like.” Some passive, comfortable Christianity that really waters down the beauty of the spiritual life. And I would wish better for you readers because, as usual with God, there is so much more to it than what meets the human eye. That’s the belief that keeps me moving forward.