In his talk “To Be a Follower of Christ“, Elder Alfred Kyungu discusses four qualities of the Savior. They are humility, courage, forgiveness, and sacrifice. How am I doing in these areas? Do I have these Christlike qualities?
According to a Google Dictionary search, humility is “a modest or low view of one’s importance”. I’m not so sure that the Savior had a low view of His importance, but He did have a modest view compared to the importance of His Father and His Father’s plan. He stated about His Father’s plan “Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever” (Moses 4:2)
How can I then be humble? I think one of the ways to show humility is to acknowledge God’s hand. This can be done in several ways such as prayer, bearing testimony, performing service, and keeping the commandments. Another way to show humility is to understand that every calling in the church is a chance to serve God’s children. If we view callings in this light, then we can have that modest view or our importance. We are also able to be taught by the Holy Ghost ways in which we can serve better.
The last way I can show humility is how I act around others. Am I someone who appears to look down on others? Or am I someone who is known for listening and lifting others at their level? I strive to treat everyone the same and show them God’s love.
Courage is “strength in the face of pain or grief” (Google Dictionary). Christ definitely showed courage in the face of pain or grief. He also showed courage when cleansing the temple of the money changers.
When I was in 8th grade, we spent some time in English class on current events. At this time the television show M.A.S.H. was popular. Most of the class had seen at least one episode. In this English class we were reading from a magazine, maybe Newsweek, and there was an article about one of the actors from the show. His name is Mike Farrell and in the article it identified him as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was the only member of the church in my class. I remember raising my hand and volunteering to read the article because I was a member of the church. My teacher asked some questions about our religion. I remember one of my classmates mocking me for being a member of the church, but I wasn’t deterred. I realize now that I had courage to announce my membership and answer questions. It was only fifteen minutes of class, but it left an imprint on me.
Forgiveness is “the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven” (Google Dictionary). I don’t think there are any doubts about Christ’s forgiveness of sins. He stated many times during His ministry that what he was doing was exactly that.
I was bullied a bit in middle and high school. So much so that I carried a chip on my shoulder. There was a lot of anger and some hatred inside of me for what had happened. Even today I feel some bitterness towards the things that occurred. However, I went through a process of expressing my feelings. This process did not have me confront the bullies, but rather allowed me to expel the anger, hatred, and bitterness inside of me. Once that occurred, I was able to forgive those who had done me wrong. I cannot express how much lighter I felt. I was carrying around an emotional weight that I did not need.
Today I try not to make snap judgements about people. Even when their actions could have caused injury either to me or to my family. I try to laugh when someone cuts me off while driving and say something like “they’re just in a hurry to get to their family” or “they must be having a bad day”. It’s not always easy to take that breath and not curse at them or judge them. And I’ll admit it’s still a work in progress, but I’m getting better at it.
Sacrifice is “an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy” (Google Dictionary). Christ made the ultimate sacrifice. Through His Atonement, our sins have been paid for if we repent. He made this sacrifice out of love for us, love for His Father, and to ensure that the Father’s plan was accomplished.
What sacrifices have I made? There are some easy answers. Attending church, paying tithes and offerings, and reading scriptures are some examples. Serving a two-year mission was a sacrifice. Attending the temple and doing family history is a sacrifice. In some ways this blog is a sacrifice.
In Elder Kyungu’s talk he quotes President M. Russell Ballard “Sacrifice is [the] demonstration of pure love. the degree of our love for the Lord, for the gospel, and for our fellowman can be measured by what we are willing to sacrifice for them.”
To me, this means that we are willing to serve wherever and whenever the Lord needs us. We pray that we will be inspired by the Holy Ghost to know when that service is necessary. We prepare ourselves for different kinds of sacrifices by making the day-to-day sacrifices mentioned above.
So, do I have Christlike qualities? I believe I do. Are they perfect qualities like His? No, and I don’t think it’s even close. However, I am striving to get better at being humble, having courage, showing forgiveness, making sacrifices, and many others not in this post. Our lives are a journey that leads us back to God and developing Christlike qualities moves us closer to that destination.