The Impossible Mentor

In his book, Impossible Mentor, Ray Hollenbach wrote: “Jesus invites us to learn from him because he intends to reproduce himself in us. He does not invite us to learn about him: he presents to each the incredible offer to become conformed to his image.”

Most people would agree that Jesus was a good man worth emulating, while in the same breath admitting that living his example is a lofty ambition at best and an impossible goal at worst. The problem with this is once you believe this, everything comes into question. “What kind of God would send his son to Earth, hold him up as the perfect role model, issue a call for his people to follow the son’s example—all the while knowing they could never live up to the command to be like Jesus.” It’s a tough question to think about. I hear and see many a Christian claim the Savior, read the Bible, pray at meals, and go to church on Sunday, all while glibly admitting that there is no possible way to be Christ-like.

Although we will never be perfect, when you allow Jesus to be your mentor, when you ask the question, “What would Jesus do?” before any reaction, you achieve a result that emulates what Jesus promised: “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.”

For example, if you react as Jesus would to someone who has hurt you—not cruelly, but lovingly—(which, I get is no simple task), you will feel that deep peace Jesus promises. You will be able to dump your heavy burden of hate and find rest for your soul. And that is at the very root of why we should try to be like Jesus—it simply feels better and is better for us. 

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