Live Inconveniently: Some Thoughts on Becoming More Christ-like

As human beings we like what we know - regardless of whether it is actually good for us - if it has become comfortable we tend to become very unwilling to let it go or to change. We LOVE convenience and work very hard to only keep things in our lives that are convenient.

While perhaps a slightly extreme example the following illustrates my point very clearly. I worked for over 3 years with victims of domestic violence. I talked, interacted and learned from more people than I could count. One common statement/question victims would hear and I would hear when explaining I worked with domestic violence was, "Why don't they just leave?" Now there isn't one answer that is the entire reason but for many victims I talked to, often an underlying reason they didn't leave is because it was what they had come to know. In a sense it was what they were "comfortable" with. And it seemed SO much easier in many ways to just stay then to try and leave.

All of us live this way in some area(s) or aspects of our life. Too often it becomes the only way we live. We deal with change when it is forced on us, but for anything else, we fight tooth and nail to keep our "comfortableness." We want convenience!

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one of the things I think about very often is how I can become more like the Savior. While our belief is that this life is to come here to earth to experience mortality, we came to experience mortality to learn and be changed to become like the Savior. So I ponder frequently about where I am at, where I want to be, what the Lord is trying to teach me each day, and how my experiences, with the help of the Atonement can change me to be more like Him.

Over time I have learned that a huge thing "becoming" requires is a willingness to

Live Inconveniently

The Savior did NOT live conveniently. He lived and loved when it was hard and when He had every reason not to. He gave His time when He could have chosen to do other things. He loved people completely and fully, not just those that society said were "acceptable" to love. The scriptures teach us that He grew grace by grace, which means He would have faced times and things that were not comfortable to Him. But he didn't shy away. He embraced the inconvenience and uncomfortableness.

Most interesting to me is how this seems to be a much bigger struggle for members of the church than those who are not, though it is an area we probably all could be better at. Too often we may fall into the trap of thinking because we are members of the church, have participated in certain ordinances, that we now just have to "get by," coasting along until the end. But becoming Christ-like is a lifelong and something we must ACTIVELY engage. And it will not be easy.

Here are some good questions to ask yourself to see where you are at:

Do you let people into your life only up to the point that is convenient for you?

Do you embrace things that are uncomfortable - coming to an understanding for yourself of why it is uncomfortable and being willing to stick with it, knowing uncomfortable doesn't mean bad?

Are you willing to create space for people in your life - embracing fully the challenges, growth and learning that can come from differences?

Are you willing and do you seek to learn from others?

In life are you going through the motions, or are you engaged deeply, accepting that life will hurt sometimes, and that different is often hard for at least a time?

How important is it to you, that things be the way you want them to be, and you leave, run away, turn your back on things, when they aren't exactly that way?

Do you MAKE time for things and people, not just take time?

Are you afraid of people that ask you hard questions?

Do you actively seek change?

An analogy often used in church is that of a tree - that when it faces winds frequently, the roots go deeper and it becomes more fully rooted in its spot, while also being more flexible to bend. This is a great analogy but I think misses an important aspect of becoming. Becoming requires seeking - we can't just wait for and deal with the winds when they come. We are actively engaged meaning sometimes it is as if we are seeking out the winds. If the Savior had just waited around, I'm sure alot of things would have just come to Him. But He went out seeking and always striving to know and do the Father's will.

We become as we are challenged and not just by the challenges we choose or are forced on us, but the challenges we don't run away from because we can. We strive to live inconveniently.

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