The power for a Christlike character comes from Christ. But the responsibility for developing and displaying that character is ours”1
Once developed, your Christlike character must be seen. First thing to consider here is, that if your character has truly been developed to be more like Christ, it will be noticeable to yourself and others. This does not allow us to neglect the call of God on our lives to intentionally display it.
As we train ourselves for godliness, we will grow, there is no question. The question is weather you will allow it to change how your character is displayed for others to see. When we become more like Christ, our patience levels will change, how we care for the less fortunate will be different, the list goes on. Most importantly is that it was only as we began to truly understand Gods Grace that we are changed at all, but that that grace doesn’t just flow into our lives and become a stagnant pool, as I often find it so easily does in my own life.
Grace must flow out, not only in words and the way we respond but also in how we physically take action. Deliberately loving the un-lovely. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us….”2 God, who is Love, took a physical action to display His love the un-lovely. He came to be where the un-lovely [all of humanity] are. Who are the un-lovely people to you? It could be the poor neighborhood, a park full of crime, could be the area all the punks hang outside the mall, could be the prisons, homeless shelters or hospitals. Im not suggesting that you move to these places. But I am asking that you consider taking action in those places of extreme need.
If we have put in the time to intentionally develop ourselves and our own characters, we must then begin to invest that time in others. Romans says “And how are they to hear [the Gospel] without someone preaching?”3 Thats exactly it, we are the ones called to preach, or share the Good News. We are called to not only to grab on to Gods Grace for ourselves, but to let it flow through us. “[To] let your light shine before all men”4 How do you suppose we shine that light if we are no where that desperately needs it?
Displaying our Christlike character is our responsibility, yes, and it is not easy. But thanks be to God He provides every once of power we need to let our light shine, and to love the un-lovely, because on our own strength, it would never get done, and the glory would never be His. So go Christian, with His sending power, make the deliberate, intentional steps to display Christlikeness to the corners of the earth, it can start right next door, today.
1|Bridges, Jerry – The Fruitful Life 2| John 1:14 3|Romans 10:14 4| Matt 5:16