Learn to Think Like Him 4 1Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. 2Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want. 3You’ve already put in your time in that God–ignorant way of life, partying night after night, a drunken and profligate life. Now it’s time to be done with it for good. 4Of course, your old friends don’t understand why you don’t join in with the old gang anymore. But you don’t have to give an account to them. 5They’re the ones who will be called on the carpet—and before God himself. 6Listen to the Message. It was preached to those believers who are now dead, and yet even though they died (just as all people must), they will still get in on the life that God has given in Jesus. 7Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide–awake in prayer. 8Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. 9Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. 10Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: 11if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes! Glory Just Around the Corner 12Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. 13Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner. 14If you’re abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate. It’s the Spirit of God and his glory in you that brought you to the notice of others. 15If they’re on you because you broke the law or disturbed the peace, that’s a different matter. 16But if it’s because you’re a Christian, don’t give it a second thought. Be proud of the distinguished status reflected in that name! 17It’s judgment time for God’s own family. We’re first in line. If it starts with us, think what it’s going to be like for those who refuse God’s Message! 18If good people barely make it, What’s in store for the bad? 19So if you find life difficult because you’re doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he’s doing, and he’ll keep on doing it.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About