Last evening, I listened to an audio book by one of my favorite authors, E.G. White. The chapter focused on God’s expectations of the atmosphere of the Christian home; love, respect, gentleness, structure, firm but loving discipline, prayer, and daily worship, which are imperative to meet the criteria for our earthly homes to become a “Heaven on Earth. Our home environment depicts whether or not our characters reflect the righteousness of Christ.
I must admit that I contemplated on my own character as I continued to listen to the words of inspiration: “Our character is a reflection of our salvation and relationship with God.” Now I understand the life or death implication of possessing the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). The Apostle Paul admonishes us in Romans 12 to really love others. In fact, when Jesus was asked to clarify the greatest commandment, He said, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind’. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’.” Matthew 22:36-39
I Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 5:5, and Revelation 22:15 are just a few of the Bible verses that define the character traits of those who will not enter heaven.
As my husband and I reflected on the godly instruction and correction of building our characters to align with God’s expectations, we came to the conclusion that now is the time for us to focus on doing our part in the spiritual journey of transformation.
Yes, each person is responsible for his or her salvation; even so, it helps to have a spiritual partner, brother or sister-in-Christ with the evaluation process, to identify your areas that need growth. It may be difficult through self-evaluation to gain a true perspective of where change is needed.
Due to your life experience, you may have “rough around the edges” characteristics; people may even agree that you have a good heart deep down inside, nonetheless God expects gentleness to replace all the roughness or toughness in your character.
Psychologists agree that an old habit can be broken in 3-4 weeks through behavior modification. I believe that prayer is so powerful that old habits or characteristics can be changed immediately through the Power of God.
James 4:14 states, “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a Mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”
I also believe that through His grace and mercy, God gives everyone the opportunity to break old habits and strive for the character that is pleasing in his sight.
Character building is about Eternal life or the Second death: “Follow peace with all men, and Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14. While we are striving daily for Eternal life, we must also strive for true transformation, which is only possible by giving up our old habits.
Challenge for today: Pray and perform deep soul-searching for revelation of displeasing character traits.
Verse for today: You were told that your foolish desires will destroy you and that you must give up your old way of life with all its bad habits. Ephesians 4:22 CEV
Prayer for today: Dear God, I have held on to old habits which have kept me from total transformation. Please forgive me of past trangressions and reveal the areas in my life which require immediate change. I ask for your help that I may be clothed in your righteousness. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Sonya Johnson Ruiz