Did you ever notice how Jesus meets people where they are at? Physically, he goes to where the woman at the well is, Zacheus, those who are blind, disabled and outcasts. The same with the Pharisees, teachers of the law, soldiers, leaders and more. He meets them where they are at physically, emotionally and cognitively. He sees them, hears them and asks questions before he starts to try and convince them of anything… in fact, we hardly see Jesus try to convince anyone of anything, ever. He simply notices (sees) a person and their needs and offers an invitation of meeting them there. Some say yes and some say no. Either way, there is a kind and true awareness of who he is interacting with.
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I believe strongly that transformation is only done through training, not just trying or knowing, but actively DOING. When we realize we are in the training circle and God is training us through victories, failures and everything in between, it puts our lives in an understandable context. We can then become a willing participant in the growth.
“The imitation of Christ does not mean to live a life like Christ, but to live your life as authentically as Christ lived his…” (Henri Nouwen)
Are we really called to do all the things that Christ did in His life? Speak, heal, kick out demons, lead, rebel, sacrifice, love, and more? Yes, Jesus very clearly tells us we will do even more than he did (John 14:12-14)… but here is where we get stuck: How do we live this way? How do we actually do these things in our daily life?
We have largely been taught to fear our thoughts and emotions. We think: “Oh no! I am thinking a lustful thought” or “Oh no! I am feeling sad or angry”. Out of fear we panic or chastise ourselves for allowing this catastrophe; we may also pretend like we are not thinking and feeling these things at all or we give into them in private, acting as if everything is fine in public. None of these seem like very helpful steps.