Now that the summer is gone and fall is upon us, we have the opportunity to reflect on all that we did. Many of us were busy with travel plans and activities with the kids. Autumn means we start to give up the warmth of the summer and long light-filled days. Our days really do grow shorter with light and those long dark evenings are coming. I always had a hard time with the fall clock change, however, here in AZ we don’t ever set the clocks ahead or behind! I love it because I don’t have to go through the losing or gaining an hour of time. Things here seem to very gradually change and I welcome each and every minute of light that we slowly lose.
Autumn is a season of rich color on the trees, cooler air, a return to school and pumpkin patches. When autumn comes, we have a season of reflection and thanksgiving we need to fully embrace. What are we willing to give up then, when it concerns our doing verses our being? I can think of many things to “do”, but what about my “being”? Yes GOD is concerned with our doing and that we do it all for HIM. But HE is even more concerned with our being, with our character traits and how we are developing our heart.
ARE WE TRYING TO BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT OUR BEING AND WHAT PART OF OURSELVES AND OUR CHARACTER, ARE WE WILLING TO GIVE UP?
In Colossians 3, Paul addresses the character of man. He says to: “put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander and filthy language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self.”
ARE WE REALLY LETTING OUR OLD SELF GO?
If we put on a new self through CHRIST, doesn’t that mean we must address how our character is being formed? Later in Colossians 3 Paul talks about how our character should reflect GOD’S chosen ones. We should be developing: “heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another.” Colossians 3: 12-13
Let us start now and ask the Holy Spirit to point out those particular traits within us that GOD wants us to give up. Is there something you are holding on to? Is it envy for another or a grudge? Is it unforgiveness? Holding onto it only makes the matter worse and causes that one particular “thing” to rule our lives. Praying for GOD to help you with matters of your heart and character is one thing, but truly giving those things over to GOD, those messy, embarrassing, don’t want anyone to know things……..that is where giving those matters up once and for all becomes……… intentional…….. work. Those ugly hard soul matters just don’t magically go away.
If I want my character to be reflective of CHRIST then my desire for HIM and all that HE is, must be more important to me than anything else I develop within. Yes, I must let go of those negative traits of my character, but at the same time I must strive for all that is good and pure and right. Is my character growing up in faith with CHRIST?
Enjoy this new season we are in……..take time to reflect on your character. See if there is any one thing you need to give up and replace with those CHRIST-centered qualities. We are to be a reflection of HIM, but that will only happen when we are willing to give up our self and change our hearts and minds. Just as one season gives up it’s hold into another, let us give up those earthly qualities that have a negative hold on us and those that won’t be welcomed into heaven. Let us start developing GODLY character traits with CHRIST’S help. We may have to work hard at it, but in the end the reward is eternal……
COLOSSIANS 3: 12 – 13; “THEREFORE, AS THE ELECT OF GOD, HOLY AND BELOVED, PUT ON TENDER MERCIES, KINDNESS, HUMILITY, MEEKNESS, LONGSUFFERING; BEARING WITH ONE ANOTHER……”