Holiness has to do with character. Character is what we do when no one is looking. Character is not reputation, nor is it what we have achieved, but who we are.
1 Corinthians 13 tells us that love is the most important gift and love has to be part of our character. Love can be tough, tender hearted or radical.
It’s extremely difficult to learn to love without the love of Christ constraining us. If we’re looking for spectacular personal transformation and revival we need to know about holiness and character. I think the world’s most pressing need is to have holy character.
When we look at the world around us, corruption seems to be in every place. We see political corruptions and scandals, the economic corruption in the banks, sporting corruption in high places, bribes being accepted, and money passing hands for votes. Now car manufacturers are being investigated for fraudulently fixing the emission levels testing.
When people abandon holiness, honesty and integrity, with great speed that greed, corruption and self seeking take over. But if we’re looking for a major move of God, we need to know it starts individually, with you and me.
When I read stories of immense courage, I think “that’s what I want to be like”. I don’t want to be controlled by fear or greed. I don’t want to cave in under difficult circumstances or compromise my beliefs. I don’t want to give up because the going gets too tough for me. The bible says ‘God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power, love and sound mind’ (2 Timothy 1:7).
We often hear of inspiring media stories about a woman being carried out from a burning building or someone risking gunfire to rescue a colleague in a shootout. Every single day we make choices that show whether we’re courageous or cowardly. We choose between the right thing or the convenient thing.
Do we stick to biblical principles? Or do we cave in for the sake of our carnal nature, or our comfort zone? Do we give in to greed, or seek others’ approval. These choices come every day, by rapid fire. Do we go with the flow, or stop and choose to be courageous when other people are not?
To become a Christian takes courage. You have to own up to your sins before a holy God – that takes courage. It takes courage to make your relationships work. Are you and I willing to fight with courage for our spiritual and relational growth, and to be the holy people of God, preferring others to ourselves. That’s what God has called us to be.
Prayer: Father God, would You, by Your grace, help me to be holy and blameless, and to walk with love and courage today. Help me to grow in my character and to be conformed into the image of Your son. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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