Many books have already been authored to help people revive their interest in enhancing their lives in connection with the Christ. Most of the time though, the different authored books talk about different ways of reconnecting with the Christ however lesser focus on the process by which the person actually gets involved in terms of emotional stability within the process of reaffirming faith to the Christ. In the book authored by Thomas Kempis entitled The Imitation of Christ, the author noted of the different aspects of life that should be affected by the aim of reconnecting the relationship that one has with the Lord.
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He points out that living a life that is according to the ways of Christ is living a righteous path of life.
It is through this writing that he was able to point out the possibilities of actually understanding the life of Christ on earth and what this comprehension could do to the lives of the people who follow it.
How were the particular facts about imitating Christ’s life affecting the individuals who are willing to adjust their lifestyles to adhere to the said imitation? How are the said effects better viewed by the individuals and how do the changes benefit them? These questions shall be focused upon within the following paragraphs through an analytical approach of the writing that Thomas Kempis particularly presented through his book.
Summary of the Author’s main Points
In four separate chapters, Kempis tried to present the different aspects and different sectors involved in the process of imitating Christ’s life. Most of the pages of the reading actually note the importance of making the most of the teachings of Christ as applied in one’s life. There are different points to ponder in the book as Kempis presented the data regarding the discussion. The points shall be described separately herein.
Kempis actually noted that obedience is one particular aspect in human behavior that actually helps one to accomplish his aims of making fine imitation of the ways of the Christ. It is a primary matter that needs to be considered in achieving the aim of making changes so as to be able to adjust to the ways of Christ’s life. Obedience is a sensitive issue that is considered to be lacking in the society today. It is then observed that obedience is a major factor that needs to be enhanced [again] within the society today. It is only through the enhancement of obedience shall the aim of imitating Christ become a reality.
One of the major characteristics of Christ that has affected the humanity during his times of existence on earth is humility. Humility is the ability to remain low in mind not being affected by one’s status in living. It is through this that one is able to comprehend with the importance of being able to take responsibility in dealing humbly with other people in the society that they are living with.
The continuous stress of Kempis on the importance of applying humility towards dealing with others certainly increases the capability of one in imitating the ways of Christ. Through the increased level of accepting the fact that others are higher in position that themselves, people are given the realization that it is important for them to remain humble so as to be able to remain in the righteous ways of the ‘great teacher’ of human behavior.
The aid of sacrifice in the process of attaining the imitated ways of Christ is a primary key to achieving the wanted results from the imitation of Christ. Once an individual is able to see the need for sacrificing his own wants for the sake of attaining the best possible results in themselves and the people living around them in terms of their behavioral adjustments for the sake of imitating Christ’s way, he is then expected to achieve the understanding that he needs to gain to be able to finally set aside his own wants for the sake of achieving what is wanted by the Lord.
Through the application of the three characteristics, the capability of one to asses the righteousness of the different aspects of whatever the world offers. It is through this particular realization that one is able to avoid the different machinations of the Devil from the pressures of the world. He also further points out that through the application of the different essential characteristics, it is possible that one would have a better realization of the love that they are able to provide Jesus with, as individuals wanting to establish a fine relationship with Christ.
Meanwhile, books three and four further focus on the benefits that a person could receive when he decides to follow the path that Christ has primarily set for him to follow in his life. One’s capability of realizing the importance of establishing a relationship with Christ is a primary matter that shall allow one of the most important factors of becoming one with the will of the Lord.
Overall, Kempis aim to point out that one’s capability if imitating Christ remains depended on the willingness that one has in becoming highly involved in the process of change that he needs to face as an individual who wants to be affected by the ways of Jesus. With one’s ability of becoming selfless in adjusting his or her ways for the sake of righteousness, she or he would be able to attain the best possible results for personal growth and behavioral development.
Authority and Validity of the Sources Used
As the book is considered a Christian Classic, it could be observed that Kempis was able to let the readers understand the different aspects of becoming an imitator of Christ through inculcating the different idealisms that had been presented by the other researchers and theologians who had been able to discuss the different issues through the authored writings that they themselves had produced.
An understanding of the deep impact that the imitation of Christ’s being has upon the characteristic of one individual has been featured mainly through this reading that it has been considered as one important aspect of religion and human behavioral understanding as well. Explaining the different aspects of important reasoning behind the need of imitating Christ is a primary feature that the book caters to for the sake of reader’s further understanding of the issue. Through the inculcation of both the authored thoughts of other writers with the biblical proofs that he has presented through the reading, the said book is then further validated for informational authority.
Critique of the Writing Approach of the Author
Constant presentation of Christ’s teaching within the different chapters of the book through a self-examining procedure of asking questions to the readers actually makes this book a fine use for spiritual leaders. The soul-searching procedure used by the author in writing the different basic lessons presented by Christ with regards righteous leadership would actually assist church leaders in assessing their capabilities in actually helping the society return to the righteous ways of God while they are continuously living with the hard to deal with situations brought about by the present living. It is undeniable that the authority that the book has on the information that the author presented to the readers is indeed validated and truthful as well as practically applicable for those who are in need of assistance in realizing the importance that the establishment of relationship with the Christ has on their personal lives.
Reflection on the Reading
Christ’s presence on earth has brought about many changes in the human society. Before his arrival on earth, people tend to believe only what they know and what they discovered was true and applicable to their lives. However, when he came around, justice, social norms and regularities were all refurnished to become a more practical basis of social rules. The entire theme of the said book talks about the necessary factors of concern that specifically deals with the influences of Christianity, mainly the belief on Christ’s Lordship towards the social systems that are present today. The system primarily referred to in this book is the political authority and the way that the said aspect of the society operates in accordance with the pattern it has adapted from the teachings of Christ.
It could not be denied that the idea of what is right and what is wrong is evident on the teachings that Jesus Christ has left to his followers when he was still on earth. From that point of view, many laws of the human society, after he left, have been patterned along with the arguments that Christ has left in his legacy. The pattern of what is ‘graced’ and what is ‘sinful’ is based upon the idealisms of Christ during his earthly presence.
Hence, it could then be reasonably claimed that Christ’s Lordship over humanity is evident upon the systems in the society that evolve today. Examples of these social rules include the sacredness of marriage and the bond that ties its validity in the law. Many cases that are forwarded to the law about the ground of divorce have been largely based upon the principles of the Bible on the grounds for divorce, including adultery. When it comes to politics, the idea of authority is also derived from the Bible’s principles of having people lead by those whom has been appointed until the time of Christ’s reign over all the creations come along.
Christ’s Lordship over humanity is still evident in the human society today. The fact that many people still believe in the teachings that Jesus once left in the world, the more the society still becomes highly inclined with his teachings and his thoughts of a well-refined society, directed to doing what is good. Although at some points, Christianity looses its grasp upon the major devastating events that happen in the world, it still could not be denied that there were many times that people’s beliefs in Christ’s lordship have saved the human society from total destruction.
Thomas a Kempis. (2004). The Imitation Of Christ (Hendrickson Christian Classics). Hendrickson Publishers.