Lucado begins with talking about what the heart of Christ looked like. It was first and foremost pure and holy. We know that from scripture. He is the spotless Lamb of God. But Lucado takes the next several chapters and delves into aspects of his heart that we should see in us. We're not talking about personalities. Everyone's personality is different and people react differently to different things. We're talking attributes that should exist in us.
Lucado starts off by saying to be just like Jesus, we have to have a forgiving heart. There's nothing worse than when a person claiming to be forgiven by Christ refuses to offer that same forgiveness to others. We probably all know what it feels like to have either purposefully or unintentionally made a mistake, decision, or said or did something that caused hurt in someone's life. Most of us know what it's like to apologize when we've made these mistakes. And many more of us know what it feels like for that apology, no matter how many times you say it, to go unheard or unheeded. Lucado says that when we choose to "be right" and "be justified" in our actions, we are showing great pride and an absence of the Holy Spirit.
We must also have a compassionate heart. We must be able to be touched by people's feelings. We must seek to understand where the individual is coming from. I've written a lot about this lately. This is not excusing behavior that is wrong because of where a person is in their life or what they've experienced. This is about trying to wrap our understanding around actions. Compassion isn't unilateral however. For every person Jesus showed compassion to, you can see an almost void of compassion towards some others (i.e. Pharisees). And so we see that compassion is the starting point of love.
We are also to have a listening heart. We can't help but to hear what goes on around us, but ask someone sitting in hour number three of a graduate class and they are hearing the lecture, but they've checked out a long time ago. We have eye lids to block our eyes from seeing, but when we choose to not listen, it is a conscious decision made to ignore. Jesus listened for His Father's leading and will. Knowing all things, He listened intently as if He didn't. How many times have we heard someone speaking, someone's reasoning, someone's ideas, but didn't really listen to what they were saying or trying to explain? To be just like Jesus, we must listen twice as much as we speak. We have two ears and one mouth. Maybe God was trying to teach us something . . .
We must have a God-intoxicated heart. To be just like Jesus is live for the Father's plan. In other words, to be like Jesus means we serve and we're not selfish. We understand the world doesn't revolve around us. We understand that it's not about what we can achieve in this life that measures in eternity. God isn't going to be interested in whether or not I complete my Master's degree if while doing so I refuse to spread the Gospel and exemplify His life.
Lucado says we must also have a worship-hungry heart. Jesus was constantly worshiping the Father and pointing to Him. If we want to be like Christ yet have no desire or not push to worship the Father, then we are fooling ourselves. He deserves our best. Worship is more than just a song being played. It's a lifestyle. It's proclaiming the Christ is the most important thing in our lives. It's as big as worshiping with reckless abandon during a service and it's as small as being there on time for the service. It's as big as singing loudly with hands lifted and it's as small as a quiet time with an open Bible and a prayer. Worship leads us to the heart of the Father and Jesus showed us how.
We must have a focused, honest, and pure heart. We must be focused on God's will and calling in our lives. Christ didn't hesitate to shut the doubters out of the house when He said the little girl they pronounced was actually sleeping. People who got in the way of His mission, were moved out of the way. Christ was honest even to the point of hurt. The compassionate Christ didn't hesitate to call Peter the devil. And yet in His honesty, Christ remained pure. Honesty delivered compassionately will always be grounded in purity.
Lastly, we must have a hope-filled, rejoicing, and enduring heart. In other words, to be like Jesus, we must live in an understanding that our Heavenly Father is the God of the universe and is on our side. If God be for us, who can be against us.
This was a great book to challenge Christians to examine their walk, not with other people in the church or others in their profession, but with the example of Christ. And in that case, we will all find ourselves lacking, for no one is perfect.