10 Ways to Really Be More Like Jesus
Dr. James Emery White Dr. James Emery White's weblog
- 2021 Jan 28
I recently came across a post from someone who is a bit of a protagonist when it comes to the Christian faith. It was titled something along the lines of "My New Year's Resolution Is to Be Like Jesus," and then on the list were things that were true of Jesus, but not often true of Jesus followers. It stung, but well, it should have.
We do not get to pick and choose what we want from the life and teaching of Jesus. We do not stand over it; it stands over us. So, I began to think of my own list: What 10 things are involved in following Jesus that perhaps Jesus followers need to be reminded are part of the package?
You might come up with a different 10, but here’s my first shot. And yes, very much meant to appropriately provoke all Jesus followers, including myself.
1. Hang out with sinners.
“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’” (Luke 15:1, NIV)
2. Afflict the comfortable.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence…. You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” (Matthew 23:25, 27, NIV)
3. Comfort the afflicted.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30, The Message)
4. Promote the dignity and worth of women.
“Jesus said, ‘... go find my brothers and tell them’ .... Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, ‘I have seen the Lord!’ Then she gave them his message.” (John 20:17-18, NLT)
5. Protect children.
“And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:5-6, NIV)
6. Care more about reaching the lost than catering to the found.
“Who needs a doctor, the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting outsiders, not insiders—an invitation to a changed life, changed inside and out.” (Luke 5:31-32, The Message)
7. Care nothing about power, prominence, position or prestige.
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant.” (Philippians 2:5-7, NIV)
8. Live simply.
“Don’t take any money in your money belts—no gold, silver, or even copper coins. Don’t carry a traveler’s bag with a change of clothes and sandals or even a walking stick.” (Matthew 10:9-10, NLT)
9. Be anti-racist.
“When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’ (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’ (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)” (John 4:7-9, NIV)
10. Make sure it’s never about you.
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45, NLT)
James Emery White
About the Author
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunct professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His forthcoming book After “I Believe” is now available for preorder on Amazon. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit ChurchAndCulture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @JamesEmeryWhite.