How could a book written over 100 years ago depict so much of what we see today in modern times? And how could such a book make such a difference in my own life??
I began listening to In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do? by Charles Sheldon before I though about "Not About Me November". I actually randomly came upon it in the classic section on One Click Digital (online audio books - see if your library has it because it has been an amazing way to read books) at the beginning of the school and thought, "I don't have a lot of time, so a book thinking about Jesus should be good..."
I wasn't expecting to be convicted as the character literally ask, "What would Jesus do?" before any action they took. I didn't expect that I would start looking over my own life and ask, "What WOULD Jesus do in this situation?" I didn't expect to see how I have more areas I would care to admit that Jesus wouldn't do.
For example, I was woken up earlier than I would desire one morning. As I was tossing back and forth trying to go back to sleep, the question popped into my mind, "Would Jesus be sleeping right now?" It wasn't extremely early, but just earlier than I usually roll out in the morning. The scripture where it spoke of Jesus getting up early to spend time with His Father. "No... He would be praying right now..." was my weary response. And you know what I did? I went back to sleep!
I really stink at following Jesus. Being His disciple, doing what He would do if He was here is practically impossible! But if we truly want to look like Jesus, to walk in His steps over trying to do our own thing, something has got to give! And that was one of the main points Sheldon brought out in this book - the reason there are not more people who look like Jesus is because there are not more people who are willing to sacrifice. Jesus gave up EVERYTHING, and we fight and cry to keep as much of ourselves and our stuff as we can.
Sacrifice is something all Christians are expected to do, and yet so few actually do die to themselves daily to look more like Jesus. While thinking through what to write for "Not About Me November", and in light of this book, I started seeing how very little is actually about me, and how so much I have made about me. My ministry. My marriage. My sleep! But, in reality, once I put my trust in Christ, this life is NOT about me. It is about HIM!
This November I'm going to try something that is probably going to be the most difficult thing I could do - I'm going to do a shorten version of the pledge that the characters in the book took (because I know my weaknesses). I am going to ask "What would Jesus do?" before I do anything, and not take into consideration what could be a gain for myself (or at least attempt this and do it it in the power of the Holy Spirit). I feel crazy just saying it, and yet I feel like a pansy because I'm not doing a full year like they did!
Anyone else want to be crazy with me? Anyone out there want to die to themselves - even possibly giving up there very sleep - to look more like Jesus? Anyone else scared to do this??
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20 NASB)
Check out the Not About Me November Series
Leah works with Master Plan Ministries at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Other than watching college students' lives change, she enjoys getting her mind blown by God and His Word, watching sci fi, baking cupcakes, and spending time with her hunky husband.
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