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The Key to Character

Many of you over the last week have been completing the LIFE groups survey card for me. (If you haven’t yet, please see me for a card.) So far, I’ve been really interested in the results.

Overall you have been telling me that you struggle with having a noticeable impact on those around you. In fact you have scored this a whole point lower than all the other questions.

The question centers on what it means to Inspire others through our lifestyle. So let’s talk about this. We are called to carry a certain character of Christ. But what is the key to this? Living like Christ did and inspiring those around us is obviously easier said than done. We have tough lives! There are many forces that pull us in many different directions.

What are the forces that are pulling you? Are you overbooked? For most of us, the answer to that latter question would be “yes”. I’m not trying to imply that our business causes character flaws, but at the same time I wonder if we were meant to carry so much on our shoulders. Some of our baggage is not just meetings, appointments, sporting events, music events, etc. Some of the baggage comes from emotional weight that we bear.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus gives us some comfort that has huge potential to free us of these burdens we carry. He says in Chapter 11:28-30,

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

These weren’t just empty words from Jesus. He wasn’t trying to give you momentary comfort. I believe that He is really and truly trying to free us of the burdens we allow to weigh us down. Sometimes its as if we purposely take on these burdens. It’s out of the ordinary to free. It’s not normal. If Jesus came to call us away from being normal, so be it.

In fact Paul comments in the book of Romans 12:1-2 “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and please to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”

So, between these words from Christ himself, or the further encouragement from Paul, look at your schedules. Are you conforming to the pattern of this world? Or are you offering your life as a sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God? Jesus has called us to take on His yoke which is everything this world isn’t.

I had a professor in college tell me one time, “If there had been an eleventh commandment, it would have been to have balance in our life”. Wise words. I think this is precisely what Jesus was telling us.

Don’t be busy, just to be busy, surrender your life to Him, and He will set you free.

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