I’m still reading Mark’s Gospel with Gerard Kelly’s guidance. Kelly is a founder of The Bless Network, a youth missions agency in Europe. And he writes Bible studies for Scripture Union:
What does it take, we wonder, for a human life truly to reflect the character of God? How can we aspire to the life of goodness, truth and love that God calls us to? The answer is that we must face up to the laziness and narcissism that corrupts our every effort. We must be willing to put to death those aspects of our selves that are destructive to our own lives and those of others. Jesus, incarnate God, has come to show what an obedient human life looks like. He is our supreme example.
I have borrowed some of Kelly’s thoughts and words for this prayer…
We are made in your image. (Genesis 1:27) That’s encouraging, but can my life come close to reflecting your character? I’m like a seed that’s slow to germinate.
We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.
St. Paul had a profound understanding of our propensity for self-sabotage:
For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing. (Romans 7:18-19)
Lord Christ, help me resist every tendency and habit, any attitude or act that distorts your image.
Holy Spirit, help me to live honorably, serve graciously and love generously. Amen.