The Character of the Christian

Amidst chaos, distress, anger, and pain– what kind of person are you?

When the shite hits the fan– how do you respond?

In times of order, peace, tranquility, and well being– it is easy to act with integrity and compassion. And you cannot judge a person’s character whilst they stroll down easy street.

It is in the trenches of adversity that we are shown what we are made of. 

When faced with adversity, will we find ourselves vengeful? Conceited? Cowardly? Weak?

Or, when opportunity calls,  will we rise up as heroes, committed to the bringing of Justice, Mercy, and Truth whether or not we are the ones being wronged?

When we are amidst evil, will we step up? Or step away? Will we stand for what the Holy Spirit reveals is right and good? Or shut it all out– the Spirit as well– and pretend it doesn’t concern us?

The day will come upon you, my friend. When the Master Himself will call you into action. You may not know the day, nor the time, so be ever prepared to serve. For:

“That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.”

Luke 12:47-48 (NRSV, boldface mine)

What? Did you think that the blessings God bestows upon us (our salvation included) belong to us? Oh no, a servant owns nothing! A servant stewards what the Master entrusts to them. And I hope the passage above makes it very clear that He intends to see a return

Be forewarned, when the Master comes expecting our service it is rarely, if ever, with peace and tranquility:

“Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!”

Luke 12:51 (NRSV)

And so, you can see how important it is to assess our own character. Because it will be tried in the same fire that Jesus came to kindle on the earth (Luke 12:49). 

The Master wants us to succeed, to past the test. But the choice is ultimately ours.

Are we preparing for service–holding ourselves up to the standard of our Lord? Or are we merely making our human weakness an excuse to remain weak? 

Are we striving for His holiness? Or are we content to continually fall short?

When the chips are down, and you are faced with the choice to act on behalf of Christ –do you know what you will do?

Are you striving to embody the Character of the Christian?

Because, if you are curious how to answer that question , this is what it looks like:

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God(…) Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.”

Romans 12:9-19,21 (NRSV, boldface mine)