A Lesson From The Past: Press On

How do people call you again? Servants of the Almighty, followers of Christ, disciples of Jesus, Jesus freaks – these and other names are connected to but one cluster of people, Christians. At this juncture, you might be having problems being a person who professes to know and believe in Christ. Just like a soldier who must conform to the ideals of his superior, so you are supposed to be “transformed in likeness of the Master.” Being like Jesus. No more, no less.

However, this is where the problem comes in. No matter how rigidly the military presses conformity, no amount of continuous encouragement and persuading could push you to reach your ultimate goal. You have tried it all but no matter how you convince yourself– it’s just preposterous. You end up doing nothing because you think it’s impossible. Far fetched, even.

If you share the same sentiments, well, without a doubt, you are having performance anxiety. This distressing feeling of fear, worry and apprehension can take away the real joy of your pursuit – conforming to the character of Christ. Biblically speaking, all humans are created “in the image of God, not necessarily the physical looks. With this, it’s just but normal to say that being Godly isn’t that much of a problem because we are created as such. Chronic fear and anxiety brought by the wrong notions will not help you from “hitting the mark.”

Paul, which is one of the early apostles, had his share of performance anxiety. He openly admitted that he had a “thorn in the flesh.” This was described to be a struggle or an overwhelming fear. A paradigm that no matter what he does, he’s just not enough and will never be like Jesus. But he was determined to get ahead this faith-challenging obstacle as he “chose to suffer for Christ.” He too understood and experienced those fear and anxiety related predicaments in following Christ.

He was shipwrecked a couple of times, jailed and stoned like an atrocious criminal because of his beliefs. However, just to get ahead of any hint of fear and anxiety brought about by his condition, he just put in mind that, “he is a prisoner of Christ and no longer live for himself.” In this light, he was never bothered by any threat or obstacle believing that no amount of threat could further enslave him.

Ultimately, even after a series of performance anxiety blocks, he managed to utter this proverbial Christian quote, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.”

It’s but normal for a Christian to feel inferior because, in comparison to Jesus’ image, we are but “a fleeting memory.” However, we are urged, no matter how hard, to live like Christ. Just keep on pressing on to reach that mark. It’s tediously arduous, however, like Paul, let me say this last thing. “I am not telling you these things because I already have reached perfection, but by the grace of God, I keep on pressing towards the goal to win the prize.”