For the first twenty years of my life, I was that girl that everybody looked at and said, “There's not a single person that doesn’t get along with her.” I prided myself on being well-liked and respected by everyone, and not having a single enemy.
While this was an incredibly draining lifestyle, it felt fulfilling because I had the approval of everyone. I molded myself into the kind of person that anyone wanted me to be. At the end of the day, I looked in the mirror, and the question that constantly rang in my head was, “Who am I?”
I struggled with that question until I entered into a relationship with Christ in college. When I learned about Jesus and what He did for me on the cross, my life felt amazingly small.
Though I continued to struggle with self-image and desiring the approval of others, my life was given meaning and purpose. Living for Jesus was freeing because I didn't have to live for others' opinions.
At that point, God’s word became like a road map for my life and His character like directions for who I should become. It was as if Jesus pulled me aside and told me “Hallie, just be like me.”
But how? How do we actually "be like" Christ?
By looking to Christ as the greatest example to follow, we can see His character and how He lived as a guide for our life. In order to love Him and others deeply, we become more like Him.
Here are a few of God’s character qualities I have noticed in a new way during this season of quarantine.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 peter 3:9
God displays His patience with us every single day by putting off the day of His return, so that more and more people can be won over to His kingdom. How compassionate of God to prolong time for us so each day people can go from death to life through saving faith!
We are given hundreds of little opportunities every day to be like Christ by displaying patience to those around us.
You can display patience by not honking your horn at someone in traffic. How about that friend who continues to go back to an unhealthy relationship after you've discouraged it? You can be patient by loving them and reminding them of their worth in Christ. How about the prayer you’ve prayed for years, for a family member to place their trust in Jesus? When they still haven't made that decision, you can be patient with God and trust His timing.
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14
Holiness is the characteristic of God that means that He is perfect and righteous.
We can pursue holiness in many areas. For example, when it comes to relationships, we can treat the other person with respect and selflessness. When it comes to what we watch, we can choose to watch something that is honoring to God.
To help, ask yourself the question, "Is this honoring to God?" This can aid you in seeing ways you could pursue holiness.
“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So He began teaching them many things.” Mark 6:34
Jesus looked on those striving after the things of this world with compassion not judgment because He knew those things would never satisfy them. Being more like Christ, causes us to see people without a relationship with Jesus as truly lost and with compassionate.
How are you showing compassion to those that don't understand your lifestyle of following Jesus? Are you keeping your relationship with God to yourself or do you take those extra few minutes to explain what you're doing and why? The greatest way we can be compassionate towards others is by simply sharing Jesus with them.
Those are only three character qualities of God in the Bible. Go read for yourself! You will find so many more.
What could this look like for you moving forward as you study God’s character? When you pick up your bible, you have the chance to read and study His character and choose to apply it to your life. Does one of these characteristics seem like something that you should challenge yourself to grow in? How could you take steps to do so this month?
Discuss these questions with a friend or spiritual leader to help apply today's reading:
Where do you look to find your purpose?
What characteristics of God are you trying to grow in right now?
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