Do You Reflect God?
By Hannah Goodwyn
CBN.com Senior Producer
How can we – flawed human beings with selfish tendencies – ever portray God’s flawless image? The answer: Simply follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. If we, as followers of Christ, are truly abiding by His Word, then we will reflect His character.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23a (NLT)
The Holy Spirit will shine through us if we allow God into our lives. You – and others – will notice the quality of your character because it is starkly opposite of what most of us exude. We tend to worry, get angry, hate, envy others, and judge.
“This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other." John 13:35 (The Message)
Develop the Fruit of the Spirit
In a previous article, I delve into the fruits of the Spirit as recorded by Paul in Galatians 5, covering the first four: love, joy, peace, and patience. This week, let’s take a look at the last five on God’s list of His qualities.
“A kind deed, friendly regard shown toward another,” that’s what dictionary.com labels as kindness. Random acts of kindness are often what we think of when dwelling on this character trait. But, it’s much more than occasional kindhearted acts.
Jesus’ example: Jesus is God incarnate, and the kind, compassionate heart of the Father was not lost on His son. Matthew 12 records a time when Jesus showed his kind heart to a stranger on the street. The man’s withered hand caught our Lord’s attention and caused Him to stop in His tracks. Even in the face of ridicule, Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath, which the religious leaders deemed anti-God.
Personal application: Just as Jesus would not let the disabled man remain crippled, think of a way to show sincere kindness to someone who may be hurting – physically, spiritually, or financially.
We all want to be known as “good” people. But what does that mean in everyday life? The best place to look for examples of “good” is in the life of Christ. Since our tendency is to be selfish, the opposite is the best picture of goodness.
Jesus’ example: Washing the feet of His disciples at the Last Supper is the perfect example of Jesus’ goodness. His mercy toward His followers is shown in the shear fact that he lowered Himself to serve them (John 13).
Personal application: Rather than expect to be served, serve others. You can apply this in your local church by looking after little ones in the nursery or covering for veteran Sunday school teachers so they have a few weeks off.
It gets easier to back out of commitments the more you accept your own excuses as to why you need to be ‘unfaithful’ just this time.
Jesus’ example: Faithfulness is summed up in Jesus’ reaction to God’s plan that He die on cross for our sin. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus basically asks His Father: “Is there any way I can get out of this?” Realizing that His plan is perfect, Jesus dies willingly.
Personal application: Jesus commitment to His calling is an extreme case. However, it’s critical that we realize the importance our faithfulness to God’s plan through us.
God is our Judge, but His heart is also gentle. He has a righteous anger, yet His compassion and love even cause Him to rebuke us in a gentle manner.
Jesus’ example: Calming the angry crowd, Jesus saved the life of a woman caught in adultery. John 8 records that as He rebuked the crowd by calling attention to their own sin, He reached His hand out to the woman in forgiveness.
Personal application: Do not be too quick to judge. Instead of allowing anger to well up inside of you and spew out all over your family, give God a chance to tame your temper.
In our self-seeking society, we’ve grown accustomed to having things our way. Even Christians have a problem with controlling their lust for money, sex, food, and only God knows what else.
Jesus’ example: Most people would give into the temptations Satan offered the Son of Man in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11). But, Jesus didn’t take the bait. He showed self-control and resisted what He wanted most – His world back.
Personal application: Ask God to give you an extra measure of strength to resist your temptation, and then don’t give in!
Hannah Goodwyn serves as the Family and Entertainment Producer for CBN.com. For more articles and info, visit Hannah's bio page.
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