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Changing Our Identity

By Dennis and Linda Lamphere (Sherry Bushnellís parents)

 

Ever come to a crossroad in your life? Does something need to be different?

I have. Deep down inside, I really knew I could do much better about the way I acted and the way I thought.

In my Bible study time a few days later, it really came home to me that Jesus acted very different from other people. He was not politically correct or even socially acceptable. His answers, statements, stories and teachings (even general conversation) were unique and not the common way of communicating.

Considering the fact that God sent Jesus to earth, to sacrifice himself, die on the cross like a common criminal to save us from hell, Jesus had to be incredibly different from us.
He had to be the Supreme example of how to live, how to talk, and how to act toward others.
As I looked at my own heart, I could see that I really did not line up very well with His characteristics. HELP! How could I ever come closer to identifying more with Jesus.
First of all I prayed with all my heart. I found a quiet spot and emptied all my thoughts out to Him and said, ď I just donít get it.Ē
I remember a still small voice saying ďFinally! Maybe I (God speaking to my heart) can put something back in you worth keeping.Ē
That day, when Jesus spoke to my heart, He changed my life. Here is the starter order for me:
Be patient. - (I needed to start with this one.)
Be kind. Practice kindness. Pray for others who are difficult for me to be kind to.
Do not demand my own way.
Donít be irritable (Guess Iím going to have to forget about keeping score! Iím going to just have to forget all the wrongs done to me.)
Smile and rejoice whenever truth wins out. (This part was easyÖ but I better be careful.)
Keep the faith. Never give up. He promises to never, ever leave us or forsake us. We cannot be embarrassed or ashamed of Him or what He asks us to do. (Including saying, Iím sorry.)
I knew that it was impossible for me to do even one of these on my ďlove-listĒ unless God would help me. Setting aside my own identity, my natural desires, would require more effort than I could ever have. However, God, through Jesus Christ, placed a desire in me to change.
The more I work at striving to be like Him, the more areas I can see I need to change!
Yet the wonderful part is, the more I am able to see my need for change, the more I am able to show Godís love to others.
When I changed my attitudes and responses, my wife, our children and grandchildren began to respond differently too. It all started with my first prayer Ö ďDear Lord, please change my heart.Ē
As I thought back to all those millions of wrong responses and decisions in the past, I could see that keeping a log book of all my blunders would just move my heart further from Jesus. Now I can see that it was Godís plan all along to get me to the point where I desperately needed Him.
Changing my identity to be more like Christís isnít that hard. After allÖ we are all Godís work in progress anyway!