|Volume 21 Number 8 August 2019||
Disciplined to be pillars of strength for Jesus Christ,
Disciples in the truest sense of the Word,
Disciplined to seek the truth of God’s Word,
Disciplined to love it with all the heart,
Disciplined to spread its message to all the world.
Furthermore, we must be
Disciplined to love all mankind fervently,
Disciplined to love each other more dearly,
Disciplined to pray for each other daily,
Disciplined to present ourselves as
servants of righteousness before God.
Often, I have heard or used the phrase, “Oh, that is just him (or her) being him (or her).” Often it carries a negative connotation, but, sometimes, it is a compliment. It can be that someone has acted in a kind way or has done something special. We had a wonderful friend and mentor in Valdosta, Georgia where I preached at the Airport congregation for nine years. When we moved there, I was only 26 years old, and Barbara was 25. We had one small child at the time. This wonderful lady, Brunell Dykes, a retired nurse, basically adopted us. She showed me where the members lived and how to get around in Valdosta. She was a confidant and aid to Barbara. Years later, she would serve as the “honorary grandmother” at our daughter’s wedding. She was well known for her service. She was the “nurse of Dasher” in the neighborhood where she lived. I once went to visit someone in the hospital, and Brunell asked me to apologize to him for not having been able to visit him yet. His response said volumes, “That is okay, because that means that Brunell is helping someone else.” He was probably right. That was simply “Brunell being Brunell.” She passed away last year at the age of 100. She left behind a legacy of Christian service, of just being like Jesus.
When we speak of Jesus being Jesus, that is a many faceted concept. It shines through when He, struggling with death, took one of His last moments of breathing on the cross to say, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). It is exemplified in the shortest verse in the English Bible, John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” It is seen in His sad comment concerning the city of Jerusalem, “How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing” (Matthew 23:37). Jesus had compassion on the multitude (Matthew 14:14; 15:32), on blind men (Matthew 20:34), on a leper (Mark 1:41), on a demon-possessed man (Mark 5:18-20), etc. It was just Jesus being Jesus in these and untold other cases where compassion was stirred within Him.
In the interest of total disclosure, it was also Jesus being Jesus when he overturned the money-changers’ tables (Matthew 21; Mark 11; John 2) and when He severely condemned the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and scribes (Matthew 23). So, Jesus being Jesus also includes His firm stand for the truth of God and His adamant dislike for the actions of those who act in ways that are wrong in the sight of God.
While that is true, it is important that we deal with things in an appropriate manner. I know that the woman caught in adultery is an extremely misused passage, but it is important to note about Jesus in this record (John 8):
Are we truly imitating Jesus in our lives (1 Corinthians 11:1)? Do we truly show the care for others that we should have? Do we lovingly but firmly stand for the truth of God? Those two things are not mutually exclusive, but they must go hand in hand. Are we so in tune with trying to walk in the steps of Jesus that others can look at us and say, “That is just him (or her) being like Jesus”? We should practice being like Jesus so hard and so well that it just comes naturally to us.
When someone says, “That’s just Dean being Dean,” does that carry a negative or positive connotation? That is up to me and how my heart is set. What will people see in my actions? How about you?