Monday, February 02, 2009

More on differentiation......

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 met lots of people that possess a some or quite a few of these characteristics. In fact, most of us have some of these visible characteristics built into our personality. Those who are not followers of Christ may be focused, gracious and at peace, but are they also humble, others centered and generous? Some may be gentle and kind, but are they at peace and are they focused? I think that the real issue is that if we are a follower of Jesus, we will exhibit ALL OF THESE CHARACTERISTICS, not just a few of them. This is the standard that is set before us.

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.


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