I watched a lot of television when I was a kid. One of my favorite shows was Starsky & Hutch. When I grew up I promised I would be a cop and drive a red and white Ford Gran Torino just like Starsky. My first car was a 1968 Impala, so I did not quite hit the mark. Oh well, second car was a Cutlass.

I did have a blue windbreaker like Starsky and I had the blue Adidas SL76 athletic shoes as well (thanks mom and dad). I even popped the collar on the windbreaker ,but that’s about as far as I got emulating Starsky.

We are told to be like Jesus (1st John 2:6) … let Him live His life through us but for some reason we don’t really like to be like Jesus. Maybe it’s because He doesn’t drive a cool car, wear cool blue shoes with three white stripes or pop His collar on His windbreaker. I’m not really into blue sashes, togas, sandals, semi-long hair and after two days I am ready to shave.

Jesus did do cool stuff. He healed people, fed them, raised people from the dead and He forgave them of their faults … all this is based on love. We are told loving God and loving others is the best thing we can do but for some reason it’s not as much fun as acting like our favorite television character, sports star (on the court I was always Larry Bird) or favorite Kardashian.

Do you ladies remember having the Farrah hairdo and wearing your Calvin Klein and Gloria Vanderbilt jeans before they started selling them at Target? As kids we all wanted to be someone else or at least dress and look like them but then again not so much when it comes to Jesus.

Does Jesus, arguably the most important and famous person to ever walk the planet just not have enough panache? Therefore, we don’t want to model our lives after Him?

To be honest I think I know why. It’s because we don’t like being persecuted, left out, made fun of, snubbed … we don’t like to suffer. It’s funny, suffering Jesus only comes out on Good Friday … the rest of the time we envision nice Jesus, do for me Jesus. Jesus was a suffering Savior. Most days were hard for Him and if we like Jesus, most days will be hard for us. Most days will be good days too but not easy days.

This should not discourage but rather the opposite, it should encourage you that if you are suffering for and suffering like Jesus you obviously have your toga collar popped.

Hang in there! He told me to tell you that.

Ken Ansell serves as a pastor in a small central Texas rural community. He is a local missionary and he fly fishes when he can.