As I have thought more about differentiation, in addition to the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control) being a visible differentiator, I thought of a few more things. Followers of Jesus also are visibly:
- Forgiving - not harboring bitterness against others
- Gracious - accepting of those around them realizing that God is in the process of calling all of us and/or changing us
- Generous - giving of our time, treasure and talent to others
- Focused - understanding that we have a mission in life
- Humble - understanding that God is all in all and we are all in Him
- Others centered - probably a euphemism for love, so...
- Not anxious - knowing that God will keep His promises and provide
- Not complainers - content with what God has provided and when He has provided
I have to admit that I am a bit overwhelmed by all of this. When I look at this standard I have two choices - to give up and live defeated or to commit to allowing the Spirit to make these things come alive in me. I choose the latter. I know that this is His job (He has a lot of work to do!!!). I choose to look at this standard, not as a personal short coming (although it is), but as a goal to work for. I want to be a light to the world of what Jesus looks like. I am realizing that the only way that I can do this effectively and without hypocrisy is to look like Jesus in every way.