If you want to be Christ-like, you must do more than just ask to be so, you must be prepared to no longer be you.
Our Father’s intention is to make all of His children into the image of His Son, and so if we desire to be pleasing to Him, we must deny ourselves, we must be willing to say with John the Baptist, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) There is no other way, we must be prepared to die to self. One cannot just say these words and then expect to be transformed without pain, without lose, much must be forsaken of our own free will, even before we attempt to relinquish that will to God. We must count the cost, (Luke 14:28) no man can continue to live for himself and the pleasures of this world, the assured security that we tend to have in ourselves and at the same time ask to be made into the image of the Lord, we cannot serve two masters, and the only other true master that many men serve is themselves. “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” (John 12:25)
Far too many in this present age are attempting to live in both worlds, retaining their desires while professing to be Christ-like, few have I found that are dying to self. Most of these individuals will do their best to emulate the attributes of our Lord that they see as beneficial to themselves, not many people think poorly upon the man who seems to be kind, compassionate, and caring all the time, few desire to be around the one who rebukes and reproves, even when it is done in love. And so instead of submitting fully to the Holy Spirit, they love only in part, removing themselves from any possibility of contention, being weak for the weak instead of showing strength and conviction, giving themselves over only in part to the authority and lordship of the Most High. By remaining in just a few of the attributes of Christ, they begin to see them as the only ones that are worthy of their time, the rest are shunned for fear of offending or seeming to be offensive.
Such is the path of many of the believers on this planet today, reproving and correcting, pointing out sin to the sinner, exposing lies and standing against the evil have all but fallen by the wayside. “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3) Why? Why would our Lord be such if all He ever did was help people, was always kind, never reproved, isn’t that the life of most Christians, so why then the sorrows and griefs, why exactly like is said in Ecclesiastes 1:18, “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.”
If you desire to be made into the image of the Son of God, you need to start here, in this life, not thinking the way that many Christians do today, that they can live in part for themselves and in part for Christ, and then when they reach home they will be automatically transformed into what they never truly attempted, or truth be told, desired to become in this life.
If much wisdom and knowledge brings much grief and sorrow, and if our Lord was a man acquainted with grief and sorrow, than it stands to reason then one of the first things that you must pray for if you truly desire to be Christ-like is wisdom.
But as you can quite easily see now, there is a human downside, if you will, two of the main items that most do their best to stay away from in this life, sorrow and grief are what we must attain to if we desire to be Christ-like in this life. What we say we want is not always what we really desire, it just sounds good, it sounds right, even holy to express them, but when the time comes to apply these traits, not so much. Do you really want to live a life of sadness, in frustration, in the knowledge that the majority of people are rejecting Him and will continue to, that many who call Him Lord only do so out of a pretense, out of selfish ambition, can you live with these burdens. He did, and He bids us to take His yoke (Matt. 11:29) and bear them also.
It has always been the way of our Lord, hate this world and all it contains, set all of your affections on Him, live a life of grief and sorrow, it is the only way to experience true joy, for only in His presence is joy fulfilled. Prepare your heart to suffer here, and the joy you will receive will be unspeakable.