At every turning point in our lives we are having to learn how to live.
When a crushing loss happens to us we often say that “I had to learn how to live without…” If a prevailing illness or injury happens to us we say, “I had to learn how to live now that I can’t do…” When we marry or have kids or get a new job or move, we have to learn how to live with a new addition, a change of scenery, or a deeper commitment.
The question of how to live is recurring and perplexing. I have found that Jesus provides me with the best way to live.
So much of the Christian evangelical message is about eternal life. We ask potential converts, “Do you want to go to Heaven when you die?” In the minds of most, getting saved or born again is a way to defy death or to even avoid it in a sense. This is essential to the Christian experience because of Jesus’ own death and burial and resurrection. Yet, Jesus didn’t just come to keep people from dying but to show people how to live.
Jesus showed us how to live when people are in need. When the leper wants to be healed and tells Jesus, “If you are willing, you can heal me.” Jesus’ response is, “I am willing.”
Jesus showed us how to live when the whole world has turned against you. Hanging from a cross, Jesus asked God to forgive his murderers because, “they do not know what they are doing.”
Jesus showed us how to live when we get puffed up with judgment and self righteousness. He reminds us that we are not without sin ourselves and have no right to be throwing stones at others.
Jesus showed us how to live in prayer and immersed in scripture. He was constantly finding time to pray and using scripture as a launching point for his own message and teaching.
Jesus showed us how to live as a servant, willing to wash the nasty feet of disciples whose job it was to be the ones serving.
Jesus showed us how to live around people who no one else wants to be around – lepers, racially despised, scoundrels, public sinners, the oppressed. He seemed to want to be around these people more than many others so that they knew they were seen and cared for.
Jesus showed us how to live as his followers. He says, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also must love one another.” It is the Jesus kind of love that shapes how we should now live.
No matter what your circumstances or life situation, as a follower of Christ, you now have a way to live. It is not enough for you to avoid the finality of death but it is time for you to embrace the kind of life that Jesus has shown you, taught you, given you, and is now living in you.
There is one best way to live and it is the Jesus way.