A Focus On Likeness

BY Doug Jones

June 13, 2012


If I were asked to define the goal for a person trying to follow Jesus, I would say that our goal is God’s glory and, through his power, to grow into the likeness of Jesus for the sake of the world.

I think this is at least a starting point for understanding the focus for our everyday lives.  For many of us, I think our focus moves toward lists of what we need to acquire or accomplish and to getting through the day. With our heads down, trying to get through, we often fail to think about our day as a means to help us grow into the likeness of Jesus.

When I consider my days in light of my Christian faith, many times what I evaluate is, Where did I fail, God? I find that my Christian faith in my everyday experience is a matter of what Dallas Willard calls sin management. Did I sin less today than yesterday?

Living our lives trying to sin less, while it may be needed, does not get us to our goal of growing into the likeness of Jesus. We can avoid bad behavior, but that doesn’t guarantee we are surrendered, available, alert, and attentive to what God is doing in our midst. Sin management is the equivalent to killing the weeds, and that is one approach to managing a lawn. Another approach is to feed the grass so that, as it grows and becomes healthy, it provides less and less room for the weeds.

Feeding the grass is an invitation to apply what we already know of God to our everyday experience. As we go through our days, we should take time to: listen to a spouse, play with a child, sit with an elderly neighbor, slow down and watch a bird, forgive a slight, serve someone, just to name a few ways (feel free to add to this list in the comments).

Does this resonate with you? Are we killing weeds or feeding the grass? When we come to the end of our day and look back, where was our focus: getting through the day, or were there moments when we attempted to grow in our Christlikeness?

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2 comments on “A Focus On Likeness

  1. I like to use Scotts grass fertilizer with weed control plus. It feeds the yard and works on getting rid of the weeds at the same time. In our Christian discipleship, we don’t have to choose either/or, but to feed our souls with goodness of Christ, and also examining ourselves and make decisions to cut out the sin that so easily entangles us.

  2. I agree Aaron – I wasn’t trying to set up an either/or scenario. I am attempting to help us consider that we often don’t have both in sight but instead fall into one or the other focus. I agree – both are needed. But it maybe a helpful correction for us (who like me can find our focus on “sin management”) to look at our need for “feeding grass.”

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