By Kevin Mannoia
“The proof of the pudding is in the eating!” A famous old phrase that seems to make a lot of sense – in most cases. Basically the adage tells you that the only thing that matters is the final outcome. What it tastes like or how good the result is. Certainly no one would argue that when it comes to pudding, as long as it tastes good it’s a good treat.
While I was learning to fly, my instructor joked with me that to pilots, “any landing you walk away from is a good one.” Well, I suppose that’s true – if the only option is to NOT walk away from it. Again the subtext is saying that it doesn’t really matter what precedes it, the outcome is the only thing that matters.
I don’t want to disparage that whole line of thinking, but it is awfully easy to allow that kind of bottom-line, end-result, outcome thinking to seep into our whole life pattern. See, if we take that same pattern and overlay it on our call to be holy, suddenly the only thing that really matters is the outcome. In the end result do we portray a life that looks holy?
There’s something about holiness that requires a bit more. Reflecting Christ requires more than imitating Him. Certainly any reflection has an outcome - an observable dimension to it. But inherently there must be a re-formation of the inner being to come into conformity with the nature of the One we reflect. Anything less than that and we miss the whole penetrating, integrating message God is attempting to call us to.
What does it take to reflect Christ? Well certainly it requires that we do what Jesus did. But it seems there are some deeper adjustments that can only come with the help of the Holy Spirit who remolds our motives, our intentions, our purpose, our nature, our personality into the likeness of Christ – SO THAT we may truly exhibit outcomes that are characteristic of someone who is like Jesus.
Reflecting Jesus is more than simply living by the outcome – the bottom-line. Walk in the Way and may you reflect Christ well!
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