Choosing to Become Like Jesus
By Rick Warren
— October 15, 2009
“This will continue until we are . . . mature, just as Christ is, and we will be completely like him” (Ephesians 4:13 CEV).
Spiritual maturity is neither instant nor automatic; it is a gradual, progressive development that will take the rest of your life as God helps you make healing choices.
The Apostle Paul said, “This will continue until we are …mature, just as Christ is, and we will be completely like him” (Ephesians 4:13 CEV).
As you struggle with your hurts, habits, and hang-ups, it is important to remember you are a work in progress. God doesn’t expect you to be perfect; he knows you will make mistakes. The Bible says we won’t be perfectly like Jesus until we’re able to see Jesus perfectly: “We can’t even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when he comes we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is” (1 John 3:2 NLT).
A simple truth to remember is that God is far more interested in building your character than he is anything else. We worry when God seems silent on a specific issue, but what God cares about most is that whatever you do, you do in a Christlike manner (1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Corinthians 16:14; Colossians 3:17, 23).
In other words, God is interested in who you are. For instance, he’s much more concerned about your character than your career, because you will take your character into eternity, but not your career.
The Bible warns, “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out…Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you” (Romans 12:2 MSG).
Becoming like Jesus means we must make choices that are countercultural. These kinds of healing choices will protect us from other forces trying to mold us into their image.
Jesus did not die on the cross just so we could simply live comfortable, well-adjusted lives. His purpose is far deeper: he wants to make us like himself before he takes us to heaven.