“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
“What’s your agenda?” This was a question asked in a recent Alpha small group discuss. “If your agenda is to change me, well then it will never work.” What a question and statement. I have been in ministry many years and have never had anyone be so genuine with their questions. Our conversation went great from there on. The topic became focused on being authentic. I have always thought of myself as a pretty authentic person, but realize I still have a way to go. Being authentic is when our actions and words are congruent with our beliefs and values. It is being ourselves, not an imitation of what we think we should be or have been told we should be. This starts in our hearts, from the depth of our being. This is a place where God has placed His seal of authenticity, through the cleansing blood of Jesus, He claims us as His, 100% His. It is an impossible task for us to live out perfectly because of our brokenness, our past hurts and mistakes. Sometimes our responses to people or situations do not reflect what Paul says at the end of 2 Corinthians 4:7-10; “We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in our body.”
My purpose on earth is not to “change” people, that is impossible. We can impact or influence others, but change is made from within. All I can do is to introduce others to the One that can change them, Jesus. I can live out of the love that has been given to me by the death of Jesus. Since He loved me that much, I should respond the same to others. Loving them with no agenda, no judgement, without strings. The Holy Spirit enables us to live out what we say we believe.
May you live what you say, and say what you believe!