Many people think that following Jesus is for people who are brain-washed or for people who feel they need someone or something to believe in. Whatever your take is on this topic, it is only in trying to become like Jesus that we will discover what this course of action really means – just like finding out if an orange is sweet or sour can only be done through tasting it for yourself.
What was in it for me? When I really…really started to believe in Jesus, I started taking time out to read His Word – it’s what guides me and keeps me from my mistakes (I learned this way too late!). Notice I said ‘really…really’ – that wasn’t a typo :). I grew up hearing that Jesus loved me and that He died to give me life – but never really understood what this meant. I got baptized at 10 years old, I went to church… almost every Sunday… not to mention Bible studies on Tuesdays, and Youth Fellowship on Fridays… and yes, I took communion every time they did it at church! Was I brain-washed? Maybe… but I still never got it! As I grew, I didn’t think there was more to it than following the rules – certainly I could do that – and that I did for quite a while! All this time I never grasped what it meant that Jesus loved me and that He wanted me to become more like Him – what did becoming more like Him even mean anyway? My curiosity got the better of me and perhaps at the age of 22, I started to read the Bible seriously for myself… to gain understanding. Even though I began to change on the inside little by little, I still didn’t know what was in it for me.
As a young adult, I made choices that were not the best – they led to lots of life challenges that took root and tested my strength, patience and determination. In my anger and frustration, I questioned God to find out why things were going the way they were – despite the fact that I was the one making all MY choices. It wasn’t until seriously reading His Word that I began to get insight and find peace for my unplanned outcomes. Did I start believing only because of what I was taught growing up? No – while a foundation was laid, it wasn’t until I started to believe in what I read that my transformation began. I discovered through my journey that when I stopped to ask God about any particular situation, things always turned out differently from when I ran ahead and did it all on my own. I took note… and so… I started believing more… and my belief led me to experience better outcomes, more peace, more patience, more understanding… I finally got it! That’s what was in it for me! There was no catch to it, no tricks up God’s sleeve, just plain old believing that He wanted to help me to become more like Him to save me from myself – my mistakes, my choices and my selfish ways!
So… why should you want to become more like Jesus? What’s in it for you? Becoming more like Jesus is actually meant to save us from ourselves – God wants to empower us and equip us with His love, peace, and joy… just so we can share His ways with others and become our best us! When we become more like Him, we experience a change of heart and we transform into ways that bring us lasting love, joy, and peace. That’s what’s in it for you!