Every Thursday I'll be posting a discussion question, challenge or thought from one of the Christian books that I've read. Then I'll post my personal response.
Then its your turn: consider the question and, if you feel moved to do so, post a comment or a link to the answer in your own blog. You don't have to participate every week, just when you want to.
Today's question comes from 'Secret Believers' by Brother Andrew and Al Janessen.
What would happen if we accepted the challenge of Islam by striving as Christians to imitate Christ?
The truth is that it is really hard to do this! And yet, as Christians, we are called to be like Christ. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has great trouble with this. Most 'modern' societies are just not christ like! They are obsessed with the acquisition of money, fame and earthly achievement. Every job interview expects you to say how wonderful you are and what you've achieved to rise up the ranks, increase the monetary value of your company, or get your work place loads of awards. A prosperous household is one with all the mod-cons, where every room (including the kitchen andd bathroom) has TVs and where people show-off their wealth to others. We are expected to put ourselves before others and told that we ar push-oversif we don't!
Against this background it is hard to remember that God calls us to be humble, value him and our faith over earthly posessions, and love our neighbours as ourselves. There are simple steps that many Christians take towards such as caring for the planet, giving to charity, smiling at strangers or volunteering to help others. But, there are many non-Christians who do these things to! In fact these are valued shared by not only most religious groups, but many atheists as well.
Imitating Christ is more than this! Imitating Christ means putting others before ourselves, not letting the world get in the way of our beliefs and being willing to give up everything for God. If all Christians lived like this then it would most certainly have an impact on others! It would be so different from society that people would stop and stare! And no doubt people would want to know why we are doing it and what makes our faith so strong that it can bear it. I imagine that it would be hard to spread the message of Christianity because of all the questions that would be asked.