First and foremost

By John Pierce

While driving to Macon’s Vineville Baptist Church — which, by the way, has an excellent choir — on Sunday morning, I was listening to gospel bluegrass on satellite radio.

Larry Sparks was singing “I Want To Be Like Jesus.” He got my attention.

“Some want a big church with a choir; some want to be a preacher; I just want to be like Jesus.”

That’s pretty good — and a departure from most of the gospel bluegrass lyrics about living in mansions and walking on streets of gold and seeing mama.

There are many worthy goals to set for ourselves and our communities of faith. Yet none should surpass the daily and ongoing quest for our attitudes and actions to more clearly reflect the life and teachings of Jesus.

My friend Pat Terry takes the opposite perspective from Sparks to make that point well with his reflective song, “If Jesus Was Like Me.”

With such good intentions, it is easy to spend so much time trying to do things for God that we miss that which should be first and foremost: to be more like Jesus.

John Pierce

About John Pierce

John D. Pierce has been executive editor of Baptists Today since 2000. Previously he served as managing editor of The Christian Index and as a Baptist campus minister at Georgia Tech, Southern Polytechnic and Kennesaw State. A native of Ringgold, Ga., he is a graduate of Berry College (B.A.), Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Columbia Theological Seminary (D.Min.). He speaks frequently in churches, consults with congregations concerning communications and holds interim pastorates. He and his family are members of Highland Hills Baptist Church in Macon.

1 Comment

  1. ­ With such good intentions, it is easy to spend so much time trying to do things for God that we miss that which should be first and foremost: to be more like Jesus.

    I like it better this way: With such good intentions, it’s easy to spend so much time trying to be more like Jesus (impossibility) that we miss that which should be first and foremost, doing things for people. We can’t DO anything for God anyway. God doesn’t need us, though he loves us. I think he just tolerates us. Jesus was all about doing things for people. If we do that, we don’t have to TRY to be like him.

    Reply

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