Recently, during a time of wondering how I could continue to grow to be more like Jesus, I decided to write down five things I see in his life that I want to become better at incorporating in my own life. It was a really helpful exercise for me, and is proving fruitful and challenging as I try to live these out. The five lessons I wrote were:
- Go to more parties. Perhaps now that I’m married, and 33, it’s easier to become a little more settled. Sometimes it’s an effort to drag myself out for an evening, compared to how it was 10 years ago. But in Jesus I see someone who was always happy to go to parties, meet new people, and celebrate life with friends. I want to be more like that.
- Get into deep conversations. When he was at those parties, Jesus didn’t just make small talk. He got into deep, life-changing, personal conversations with people, no matter who they were (educated Pharisees, socially outcast women and despised tax collectors) and no matter where they were (at a well, at someone’s house, or even outside a tomb, as well as at parties).
- Be part of a group of friends who share life together. Last year I realised I was fed up of using the phrase “catch up.” If I’m constantly catching up with people, it means I’m not really journeying through life with them. I want to catch up with people less, and actually live life in relationship and community with them, so I don’t need to keep catching up. Jesus was a master at living in authentic community with his closest friends.
- Invest in a small group of people. Again, perhaps this is one that comes more with age. When I was younger I wanted to change the world. Now that I’m (slightly!) older, I still want to change the world, but I realise I can’t do everything on my own. Nor can I change every person in the world. But I can invest my life into a small group of people, which actually is a great recipe for making a big difference. Jesus invested in a small group of people who went to “turn the world upside down”.
- Travel and have adventures together. So often the journey is as important as the destination, but especially when the journey is shared with others, and allows you to encapsulate all of the above. And travel doesn’t have to be across the world for it to be filled with adventure. Travelling somewhere local to do something new creates great opportunities for adventure – Peter, James, John and Andrew had probably travelled around Galilee before they met Jesus, but they still had incredible adventures when they started following him around those familiar places.
So, those are my five lessons, and the ways I’m currently trying to follow Jesus. What would your list be? What are the lessons you currently need to learn from the life of the Master?
Mark Williamson is a founding director of One Rock International. He’s a lay preacher and leader within the Methodist Church, author of a biography on John Wesley, and currently researching for a biography on William Wilberforce. He enjoys good films, good food, praying for London, and going for long walks with his wife Joanna.