Acting Like Jesus While Living Like Everyone Else

Our mistake is to think that following Jesus consists in loving our enemies, going "the second mile." turning the other cheek, suffering patiently and hopefully--while living the rest of our lives just as everyone around us does....

We cannot behave "on the spot" as [Jesus] did and taught if in the rest of our time we live as everyone else does. The "on the spot" episodes are not the place where we can, even by the grace of God, redirect unchristlike but ingrained tendencies of action toward sudden Christlikeness. Our efforts to take control at that moment will fail so uniformly and so ingloriously that the whole project of following Christ will appear ridiculous to the watching world. We've all seen this happen.

--Dallas Willard, from The Spirit of the Disciplines

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