I talked about perseverance yesterday in order to get to what God is speaking to me about currently which is character. Character takes time to develop. I think that is a part of the discipleship process. It is the work of the Holy Spirit but it is only done in cooperation with self. The choices I make will help or hinder the development of character in my life. And God has been speaking consistently about those choices.
Maybe you will think less of me for being so honest but I must confess that I tend to take short cuts whenever possible. I am impatient, thus the need for me to learn perseverance, and this is reflected in much of my life. I want instant gratification. And I tend toward doing as little as possible while still getting the job done. I have always been this way. While I usually do a good job deep down I often have felt dissatisfied because I know I could maybe have done better if I had put a little more work into whatever the project was. Doing the bare minimum was my way of getting through a lot of things that I don’t like doing.
So I have been working at managing my time better, managing our finances better, being diligent about other things. These are incremental changes that I am making. They won’t happen over night. They are many things that I have been working on for a while. Don’t get me wrong please. I am not talking about great moral failings, or about deliberate sinful actions. I am referring to those things that the Holy Spirit reveals a little a time that might keep us from being the person that God wants us to become. They are the little things that keep the image of Christ from being fully revealed in us.
James 4:17 underscores the importance of this, “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” These are things that include being proactive in sharing your faith, in leading your home spiritually, in giving your tithe and your offering, in making intercession for others. There are a host of things that God is doing in me, some of the deeper than others. I know that it takes time. But don’t let that discourage you. Philippians 1:6 speaks of the confidence we can have in Christ as He works in our hearts through His Holy Spirit. “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”