April 13: Simultaneous flattery and humility
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For the past three summers I have worked as a camp counselor. This was simultaneously the most flattering experience and the most humbling experience I’ve ever had.
Counseling is flattering because the kids that you’re with admire you (whether or not they should), and they imitate you all the time. Counseling is humbling for that exact same reason – kids imitate you all the time – and the fact that hundreds of children and teenagers watch and analyze everything you do makes you evaluate yourself a lot more closely. You catch yourself right before you say something negative about another person, right before you complain, right before you choose the easy way out. You make sure that you’re living up to the standard that is expected of you.
At camp and in life as a Christian, my purpose is to be an imitator of the character of Christ. Lent is a time for Christians to repent, to be mindful of our sin – a time for me to remember the situations when I failed to imitate Christ. Lent is also a time to set goals and refocus our relationship with God.
I love the beginning verses of today’s passage because they remind me that God is a Teacher, committed to challenging me and making me Christ-like; God “wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.” Especially during Lent, I am reminded of the times I was resistant to God’s leading. I am reminded that God is working in me to do away with the old, redirect my path, and turn my whole being into an imitator of Christ. As verse 5 says, “The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away.”
God equips us with the Holy Spirit to be more like Christ. And, when we walk in the way of the Lord, we are not ashamed. We have confidence that the way of God is good. During this time of Lent, may you be made aware of the moments when you failed to imitate Christ, but be reassured that God is refining you to bring about Christ’s love. Praise to the God who walks with us as we grow more like Christ.