Sunday, June 5, 2022

Sculpting a Lion


A sculptor once made a remarkably lifelike statue of a lion. A friend of his was struck by how realistic the image was, especially in light of the fact that he could not have a lion stand still and pose while he was working on it. When his friend asked him how he was able to craft such a stunning piece of art, the sculptor replied, “I just kept cutting away anything that didn’t look like a lion.” 

That is great advice for life. No, I am not talking about us sculpting lions, but in living lives of holiness. In I Peter 4:2 the Apostle said believers are called to “live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.” Being a Christian means we are called to live a set apart life—set apart from the world and set apart to God. Rather than a lion, we need Jesus to be our model, and then we simply need to cut away anything that does not look like Him.

The Apostle Paul gave us some specific character traits that might need to be cut away. Before listing the famous fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5, he first mentioned what he called the works of the flesh: “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (v.19-21).” 

Sinful habits are the opposite of Jesus. Allowing them to remain in our lives would be like giving a lion sculpture zebra stripes. It is both confusing and inaccurate. Another Apostle, John, would write, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world (I John 2:15-16).”

‭‭ ‬‬Are there things in your life that do not look like Jesus? A sculptor would not settle for decent or just “good enough;” she continues to work with her chisel in hand, slowly removing what should not be there. Why would Christians settle for just good enough? Our goal should be to look just like Jesus, so do not allow anything to remain in your life if it does not look like Him. ‭‭ ‬‬‬‬

Of course, we will never become sinless in this life, but that does not mean we should not be striving for it. We will finally become sinless when we get to heaven (I John 3:2), but until then, may we always be at work in our studio, chipping away anything that does not look like Jesus. 

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