I was having a conversation the other day with a friend and we were talking about our respective jobs. From what my friend has shared in the past, I know a little about his boss and frankly it ain’t pretty. Anyway, as we were talking he made a comment about something and I remarked, “you’re beginning to think like your boss!” His reply, “I know, but if I don’t it could cost me my job.” Really?
As I thought about our conversation I began to muse, what if Jesus had thought, “If I don’t begin thinking like the religious leaders I could lose my life.” Or if Paul had thought, “If I don’t begin thinking like these sham apostles I could end up getting stoned again.” Or Bonhoeffer, “If I don’t begin thinking like these Nazis, I could end up in some serious trouble.”
It’s hard at times to know where we draw the line when it comes to towing the line. Personally, I prefer not to think like my boss. That doesn’t mean I don’t anticipate his reaction to things or what he might do in a certain situation. I do. Nevertheless, I prefer not to have his mindset it’s not something that appeals to me. And I certainly don’t want to feel threatened in order to adopt that mindset.
Bridging those thoughts with some comments that our Bible Study teacher has made recently has made me consider this phrase “being all that God wants us to be.” He’s made that comment several times in our current study. I’m never really sure what that means. What does God want me to be? Does he want me to act a certain way, have certain moral attributes, or walk and talk in a certain way? Is having the fruit of the spirit evidence of being all that God wants me to be? If I’m not helping the poor, giving to Christian causes, or reading my Bible daily, am I being all that God wants me to be?
I think a lot about God and Jesus does that help? Does thinking about them somehow move me in the direction of being like them? I suppose that depends on what I think and if I make appropriate adjustments in my life based on my thinking. Which, I might add, I try to do. And there ya go…does trying to think and be like God mean I’m heading on the way to being all that God wants me to be?
In a very real sense, the Scriptures tell me that I should be conformed to the image of Christ. Is that even possible? We use a terms like Christ-likeness. Is it possible for me to be like Christ? Will I know it when I am or will others see that likeness in me? Have you ever known someone who was so like Christ that you were compelled to ponder how they got that way? I’d like to surrender to the idea that my thinking will result in my being. But what if it is my being that dictates my thinking? In other words, if I act a certain way then I can’t help but think in a corresponding manner. I suppose it could be very much like the chicken and the egg theory – which comes first?