For the sake of my soul, I have been doing some reading this morning in Stan Grenz's wonderful Theology for the Community of God. I thought I would share a couple of paragraphs on what it means to follow Jesus with you.
Patterning our lives after his ought not to be taken in a simplistic, moralistic fashion, however. We do not engage in every task in exactly the same manner Jesus did. Indeed, how could we, given the great changes of intervening centuries that separate our context from his? Nor does this mean simply asking in every situation, What would Jesus do? Although beneficial, such an approach to life leads to a truncated understanding of discipleship, limiting our task in follow Jesus to the realm of outward conduct.
Discipleship as patterning our lives after Jesus means that Jesus' model and teaching become the standard by comparison to which we evaluate our inmost attitudes and outward actions. Like Jesus, we live conscious of our presence before God who is our Abba. As a consequence, we continually seek to follow after the life of community with God, others, and creation which he pioneered among us and which he seeks to empower us to do. Conversely, we become conscious of our own sinfulness as we see how we fail to measure up to the standard of his life and teachings. As a result, we seek to live before God and others in humble repentance and faith in the faithful, forgiving God about whom Jesus spoke and to whom he pointed. (292)
A couple of thoughts that impress and remind me:
1) Discipleship is not merely about do - it's primarily about being, from which our doing flows.
2) Discipleship as life before God. I like this concept very much. I will need to make sure that it doesn't have the guilt-inducing sense of God constantly looking over your shoulder trying to catch you cheating like my ninth grade Spanish teacher (who caught me cheating, by the way). Rather, I want it to have the sense of my son who says, "I just want to be with you, Dad." He usually says that when he is tired, cranky, or in trouble (or all three). But it is a cry for connection and love. How might I live if I constantly cried out to God that way?