GODLY CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
I literally spent several hours writing a blog that I lost once again yesterday, through a computer error; so this blog has been a true test of my Godly character as I have sat here in my office in frustration and disappointment. In light of all I processed yesterday in the former blog, I want to back up and punt with the focus now on growing in Godly character amidst disappointment.
There is nothing more frustrating than having an expectation of something good only to be totally let down. What do you do with all that frustration and anger?
You do like I did yesterday morning and allow patience to have its perfect work in you, by slowing down. You rejoice knowing that your character is being developed, even when you want to flip your lid. No I haven't lost my mind and I know life can throw some nasty curve balls, but what else are you to do when disappointment comes? Fall apart? How does that bring God glory? I know not all things are equal when it comes to disappointments, but if we can learn to pause and allow to the fruit of patience to have its perfect work in us, by Holy Spirit then we prove that we are his true children. I believe we can grow in wisdom and Godly character during low valley and seasons of betrayal, hurt and setbacks, more than our glorious mountain top experiences. Those terrible times can transform our character if we allow the patience of God to groom us. Let's face it, people need to see Godly character in us if we proclaim to be his disciples. Our resistance to the change that is needed to look more like Jesus only ends up hurting the ones we love. Holiness does not come easy, as it goes against the cultures we encounter every day. We must live through the character of God as we seek to do his will, moment by moment. As we do this, our actions and attitudes shift into looking and sounding more like Jesus.
What's Your disappointment?
A failed marriage?
A failed business?
Is it financial difficulties that continue to cycle back around?
Are you experiencing a constant loss of relationships?
Are your emotions spiraling out of control at every turn?
Are you a Debbie downer that no one wants to be around because you have no joy in your life?
Do you lack self-control in your eating habits and constantly walk around that weight loss mountain, year after year?
Name your loss with God, and allow him to shift you up out of your old nature.
Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:11-17
.What loss have you suffered that has caused a tremendous amount of defeat, discouragement or disappointment in your life that seems to cycle over and over, year after year? Take time to list your issues and character flaws because until you do, you cannot make progress. Whatever it is, you can be at peace.God is strong and you can be too, as you release your fear, doubt and frustrations to him. There is nothing like at huge setback to help you see how much you need God's strength. We experience his strength at work in us as we exhibit his likeness and character. His character not only works in us but for us in times of washouts and misfortunes. You may even feel as if you are at an impasse today, but allow his patience, love, meekness, self-control, joy, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness to perfect you in peace, as you go through this trial of your faith.
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:4
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. Message translation
Displaying or not displaying Godly character when disappointment hits you, will give you an instant understanding of where you need the most help in your development.
I still don't view yesterday as gift if I'm to be honest, but I certainly was able see where I have grown in the fruit of Holy Spirit, and that's a plus.
As we allow Holy Spirit to produce fruit in and through our character, we better understand how to deal with times of disappointment.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
We are all in different places of our development of Godly character, so identifying where you are is important. I learned yesterday that I am actually more patient than what I thought I was. I gave myself about 30 seconds to vent and then I returned to writing. I didn't let it steal my peace or joy, I just pressed on. What else was I to do-throw a temper tantrum? So I did learn that I have grown in certain areas where my character is concerned. Unfortunately as the day progressed I was able to see things that still needed work, and that is okay too. Yesterday I was reminded that rushing trips me up. I have to leave space in my day, and not fill it up, because I work better when I have more time. God is never in a hurry and I have learned that I can't be either if I am going be like him.
DEFINITIONS BRING CLARITY
You may have noticed that I like to define things. That's because I have learned that we can get too familiar with what we think words mean and searching the meaning out further can offer the clarity we have been searching for.
character: the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual; temperament, makeup, constitution; qualities of honesty, integrity, and courage; reputation,
to develop: grow or cause to grow and become more mature; evolve, enlarge, expand, succeed, thrive
humility: a modest or low view of one's own importance; freedom from pride or arrogance
The Real Purpose We Need Godly Character
We were made to love, know and glorify God in everything we do. That means life isn't just about becoming known, rich, powerful, popular or physically fit. These are all temporary ways to experience peace. The real purpose is to display the glory of God in our lives and in the earth as we overcome evil with good. Humility plays a key role in your development and it will position you for real growth and transformation, so keep this key in your hand. Learn to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, and he will cause you to arise victoriously every time. The promotion you may be seeking may first need to be seen in the development of your character. Once that is complete, you will lack nothing, as you are now prepared for every good work God has for you.
TESTIMONY FROM KIM
Kim is a wonderful friend who is advancing in destiny. Recently we were discussing how important Godly character is as ambassadors for Jesus, and how God prepares us for ministry by dealing with our character. She shared some of her insight that I wanted to share with you all today.
My thoughts are based on my experience with asking God to put a desire in me for growth that couldn't be quenched, she says. The desire for growth is the key I learned. Then comes the obedience training. I notice I will come against the same issue time and time again, until I finally understand that my own perceptions and behaviors have been contributing or even causing the problem. Only when I humble myself to be teachable do I have victory with a different outcome. This has happened many times in my life. God has been so patient with me. Some of my flaws have taken years and years to correct, but now I am able to clearly see and recognize them with sympathy as I identify them in others as well. I am overwhelmed sometimes as I see my personal transformation over the last ten years, but especially the last five. I've learned to gage my development by the quality of my relationships. My relationships were suffering terribly before, even though it wasn't always my fault. But God reminded me that I can only work on me, as Holy Spirit guides me. I have learned to pray for others and then humble myself and allow God to do the work. Holy Spirit asked me one day-"Kimberly how many relationships are you going to ruin?" This is truly hard for me to confess. "No more I said!" Now my relationships are growing stronger as I humble myself, and nurture them with God's great love.
STEPS TO TAKE THIS WEEK
Meditate on who God is:
Colossians 3:12-13 "Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do."
Ephesians 4:1-3 " I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with long-suffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
Matthew 5:43-48 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Psalm 145:8-9 "The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation."
Psalm 145:13 "The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does."
Psalm 145:17 "The Lord is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness."
Psalm 145:20 "The Lord protects all those who love him, but he destroys the wicked."
Psalm 99:5 "Exalt the LORD our God And worship at His footstool; Holy is He."
Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever."
MY PRAYER FOR YOU
I pray you shift this week into greater clarity and focus and into the character and nature of the God who lives on the inside of you. I decree you are displaying his character and nature more and more on a daily basis as you allow Holy Spirit to shine through your personality. I pray you receive a greater revelation of the love of God for you as you shift into displaying your identity as a son or daughter to the seen and unseen realms. I pray you experience his all consuming fire that burns up fleshly desires, habits, and ways of being that do not glorify him. I plead the redeeming and cleansing of his blood over you right now and decree you are coming out of old character ways that do not reflect the glory and character of God. I thank the Lord for you and am praying that you experience the true freedom and power of living in him. In Jesus name it is so!