Amen. And Ouch.

This quote is one of those things that I really, really like . . . and I really, really don’t like.

If we’re doing bad news then good news, then the reason I don’t like it is that I don’t want to ever be uncomfortable. I don’t want to ever be inconvenienced. I want everything to always go smoothly as I transition upwardly and eventually toward heaven.

But the reality is that if I want to be more like Jesus, then those selfish and complacent parts in me need to die. I can’t just repress the part of me that I don’t like. It has to be crucified and put to death. And as must as I’m not a fan of crucifixion and death, that’s the truth of how I get to be more like Christ.

That includes the guy who cut me off in traffic, the internet connection that went down at work, the printer that wouldn’t print. That’s all those little annoyances that get under my skin and make me want to say very non-Baptist words and think very unJesus like thoughts. But those are what get me closer to Christlikeness.

It’s dumb to pray for something and then get mad when God actually gives it to you. But that’s what you and I do when we pray for patience, and then get mad when our patience gets exercised and tested. That’s what happens when we pray to be more like Jesus, and God takes us through the painful yet necessary process of refining through difficult people, trying circumstances, and nothing going to plan like we thought it would. But the end result is that we do look more like Jesus at the end of the day.

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