Conformed to His Character


June 17, 2107

Dear Friends:

As camp has now entered it’s fourth week,  I am looking a bit more introspectively in regards not only to which people cause me to be at peace the most, but also which ones remind me that I am far away from where I want to be in my walk with Christ.

The things I value most in the staff, volunteers and even the campers are probably the same things you value in fellow worker or in friends.  But as I pray for my mind and attitude to be conformed to His  mind and attitude, I am beginning to appreciate more and more what He longs for as well. With that said, I realize that I find great peace in being around adults, staff and campers that are:

-Humble

-Servants

-Full of smiles and laughter

-Ever saying good things about someone else

-Ready to help me or someone else any way they can

-Never attempting to manipulate me or others 

-Genuinely interested in what I have to say

-Uninterested in unkind talk about anyone  else

-Full of laughter, wonder and excitement!

I am drawn to people like this because that’s the kind of a person I want to be.

Isn’t it noteworthy that none of us want to be around people that are the opposite of this—-arrogant, self-serving, haughty, unkind, lazy, rude, dull and the gossipy type. But am I striving to be the kind of person that we see as the ideal? 

I understand better why people hated Jesus so much. He lived what He talked about and proved that it was possible to be the very man we all crave to be, but seem to be unable to become.   And that’s the part of the gospel that we often fail to proclaim. The only way to realize the ideal life—-for which we were created—is to be put to death the old habits and life and allow a new life to be created within us.  It is NOT a matter of God merely trimming my branches, but of pulling up the entire tree and planting a new one!

It’s not bit by bit that I can be reborn, but in the very moment I admit I am not the man I want to be and am not likely to ever achieve the traits and graces I admire in others until I surrender to Him.  Then I can begin to be one that draws others to Him—-but not on my merits, but rather on my acknowledgment of what a wrecked man I am without Him.

 

Warmly,

Dean Barley

 


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