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The First 30

The First 30

There are a lot of things that blow me away about Jesus. Things like: healing people and raising people from the dead and then doing so himself. That’s divine stuff right there.

But the thing that has most recently blown me away has been what it must have been like for a guy who was capable of doing the above stuff but instead living a rather ordinary life in a small town for thirty years. That’s really divine.

It must have taken incredible humility. You get the impression that Jesus spent most of his life going about the daily business of the family business. “Isn’t that Joseph’s son?” they asked. It seems like he never acted as if he was anything else.

It must have also taken an incredible amount of patience. So often I feel like a lion pacing the cage. I’m like a horse chomping at the bit to get on with life. Wait, to me, is a four-letter word. But here is Jesus at a wedding in Cana. He already has disciples. His mother asks him to do something about the wine shortage. And Jesus says, “My time has not yet come.” What’s he waiting for? Jesus was never in a hurry.

Lastly, he surely must have had an extraordinary amount of integrity. Nazareth, back then, had a population of about 120. That’s like fifteen families. Fifteen families in the whole town! There was no hiding in Nazareth. If Jesus wasn’t perfect, they would know it. And yet, he was. Jesus was the Son of God when no one was looking.

Humility. Patience. Integrity.

Do those words describe you?

They sure as heck don’t describe me. But if I want to be like Jesus, then these are words Jesus is going to shape into me. Perhaps some definitions would help.

Humility – the understanding and the acceptance of who you are and who you are not.

Patience – the ability to rest while waiting.

Integrity – the quality of being honest and upright when no one else is looking.

Jesus did this y’all! To me, this is even more impressive than feeding 5,000 folks. It awes me frankly and makes me want to worship him even more.

How about you?

What’s your relationship with humility, patience and integrity?

How is Jesus shaping these things into you?

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Ned Erickson

Ned is the Founder and Executive Director of the Winston-Salem Fellows, a non-profit dedicated to equipping people to live seamless lives as they grow into the men and women they were created to be. He is the author of four books, including the critically acclaimed novel Clay. He, his wife, two children, dogs, rabbit, guinea pig, turtle, and chickens live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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