I am not sure why this message at first struck a negative chord with me, but it did. Probably something to do with the idea of New Year’s resolutions—that as an Exemplar- I needed to resolve to be exactly like Christ. For me, this is a sure way in which I am doomed to fail. My thought that Christ is perfect, so He set a perfect example for me, so I need to be perfect, Right? But I am not perfect. Not even close. And I get depressed, distressed, and even angry thinking about how I perceive this message to be something that is obligating me to constantly try to be perfect….
To be true, the actual words, and certainly the spirit of the message do not reflect this flawed and failing ideology. Yet, I did not feel encouraged by the words included in the message. They state that we are supposed to be somehow inspired to “follow in Christ’s footsteps” and “become the kind of people the Lord wants us to be…” (which made me think, “isn’t He, of all beings, supposed to love me for who I am? Does He really not ‘want’ me as I am?” Does Christ… actually not want me?)
So I was in a stupor, trying to feel inspired somehow about the message. Lo and behold, with the holidays, I have been catching up on some of my favourite podcasts, including BYU Free Speeches on iTunes, which is a collection of BYU devotionals. Specifically, I listened to BYU President, Cecil O. Samuelson, give a speech titled “Failure and Success.”Read More