How do we get there from here? How do we go from the life we are living today to one that is sold-out, wholly devoted to living the way of Christ? All of us can do a better job of loving others. Each of us can grow closer to Christ than we are today.
We need a plan. Attempting to achieve anything without a plan is a recipe for futility. Take stock of where you are today. Take fifteen minutes to sit down and write down the areas of your life that you know do not reflect Jesus. Pray and ask God to bring to mind areas in which you fall short of His design for your life. Are you self-absorbed? Are you embarrassed to tell others about Christ? Do you look the other way when someone is in need of help? How do you treat your family, is it with the same love that God showers on you? How about your neighbors, do they know you love them? Do you even know them? I don’t know what areas in your life need work; we all have different strengths and weaknesses. Take the time to get away from everything else and just hash out your areas of weakness. Make sure you don’t just ponder these areas, write them down! Some will come quickly to your mind; others will be more subtle and may even surprise you. Take the time to get it all off your heart. Listen for God to reveal your weaknesses to you. This isn’t about making you feel badly or inadequate; this is simply you taking an inventory so you can devise the best plan possible to overcome each and every weakness.
Once you have your list, take another fifteen minutes to write down one to three actions you can take to overcome that area of weakness. We’re not going to become strong in every area overnight, we’re not even going to try and tackle them all at once. But we do need a plan, and by thinking through your action steps now, it will be easier later on when you work on eliminating that weakness from your walk. Again, take the time to get this right, and get it down on paper. Get alone in silence or with some relaxing music if that helps. Put aside any distraction, and just spend the time prayerfully determining ways you can look more like Christ. There is little that pleases God more than for us to seek Him. Just listen and He will tell you what you need to know.
So there you have it; it only took thirty minutes of your day to determine how you can change your life to look more like that of Jesus. You’re on your way to becoming a true follower of Christ. You have a genuine plan of action, and that feels great. There is, of course, one caveat. To begin with a great plan gives you a tremendous boost to becoming the person God intended you to be. But when it’s all said and done, your great plan will remain just that unless you follow it up with action. Remember those action steps you came up with? Yeah, you’re going to actually have to do those things if you want a life that looks like Christ. You’re going to have to get out of your comfort zone, you’re going to have to love people you can’t stand and you’re going to have to sacrifice your time and money to help those in need. A plan without action is no better than lungs without air. It’s up to you to bring meaning to your plans.
Are you willing to follow up on your own action plan? If you’ve completed this exercise, you can see your weaknesses written down in black and white. You can also see the steps you know you need to take to better follow Christ. It’s all there in front of you; you can live the life God intended for you to live. Do you have the guts to trust Him to help you follow through? Are you willing to give up those things that have no place in the life of a follower of Christ? Are you ready to love at any cost and embark on the adventure of your lifetime? We have but one life to live; take action to make yours a life of love and become a true follower of the Way.