Forming Christ in Me

The checkout line in Wal Mart was moving slowly.  It was obviously the cashier’s first time on the register.  She had made a mistake and had called a supervisor to fix her error.  The supervisor must have been on break, because it had been at least a full minute and no help for the struggling cashier was in sight.  William, who was a member of the local church of Christ, was becoming more frustrated by the moment.  Why didn’t they hurry up?  He was here to give them money and he deserved a certain level of respect.  And, to add insult to injury, the person in front of him in line had only one item.  Did that poor soul not know there was a different line for people with only a small number of things to buy?  Everyone was out to get him, and he had done absolutely nothing to them.  Poor William.  He was going to give that cashier a piece of his mind as soon as he got the chance.  Why didn’t people do better?  What was their excuse?

Our friend William ( a fictitious name) reminds me of a few people I know, and, more painfully, all too much of myself.  I don’t know what was eating William inside, but he sure didn’t have Christ in his heart.  He felt he “deserved”?  He thought people were out to get “him”?  Since when is it all about you, William?

What we have here is a perfect opportunity for William to show grace and kindness.  He blew it.  I betcha he blew it because his understanding of what Christ had done for him when he became a Christian was pretty near zero.  Why should he show mercy when no one had shown him any mercy?  I’m thinking that was what was in his head.  How clueless can one get?  I will always believe that the way I show mercy is in direct proportion to the way I believe mercy has been shown to me.  If I believe God has been good to me, then I will be good to other people.  If I believe God has not been good to me, then…well…you know.

What William really needed was Christ in his heart.  Ol’ Will is not the first one to experience this problem.  Note Paul to the Galatian church:

My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, (Galatians 4:19 NKJV)

That is the purpose before me every day: the formation of Christ in my life.  If He is there, I will show mercy, because that’s what He did.  If I fail to be merciful, or kind, or peaceable, or forgiving, or generous, or…you pick up from here…it must be because Christ has not been formed in me.

This is serious folks.  It doesn’t just happen.  I must work at it, pray about it, study over it, meditate upon it – Christ-likeness must be my very life – there is nothing else.

Here’s another verse:

He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. (1 John 2:6 NKJV)

If I walk like Jesus from 10 to 12 on Sunday morning, I’m not done yet.  There is (much) work left to do.  Showing Christ in me is sure important on Sunday.  But, it is equally important all the other days of the week, including, in the checkout line in Wal Mart.


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