Monday, January 16, 2017
Our True Colors
“You know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” James 1:3-4.
To fully appreciate this verse, we must understand the definition of steadfastness in its purest form. Steadfastness in different translations of the Bible include patience, endurance, and forced into open showing its true colors. The Greek term lends itself to the action of ‘staying in place when the pressure is on.’
2016 was a platform for steadfastness in my own life like no other time. God had been writing this screenplay for many years and the debut had come to fullness. As the curtain slowly opened last January, I realized that the performance of my life was required. This situation forced me into the open with my beliefs and my attitudes front and center. My response…my true colors…would be on display for my audience. Would I fall flat in my imperfection and lack the grace and forgiveness that would be required? Would the curtain fall on my performance, and the audience exit when they saw the condition of my heart? I would love to say that I was complete and perfect while on stage but that would be a lie. I have reconciled all of this my heart, however, because God isn’t looking for perfection, He just desires our participation and progression. I don’t believe one day passed in my daily prayers last year that I didn’t plead with Him to do the work…let the lesson be complete…remove the thorn once and for all! God was completely faithful and blessed me with liberation from a life-long condition in my heart that needed to break free. How did He accomplish this in me? Through the interweaving of humility, surrender and sacrifice. I discovered through humility to God, I could more easily surrender and sacrifice my emotions and entitlements.
‘Humility demands that you remain concerned about others…Humility is a sorely lacking quality among those who complain, lash out, bail or fold under pressure. Humility is the core virtue of mature Christians who have stayed under the funnel of adversity long enough to benefit from it. I am convinced that perseverance is the narrow channel through which all other Christian virtues flow…Being perfect and complete, lacking in nothing…is about robust maturity, a combination of deep qualities that mark someone who has seen and experienced what life can dish out and is still standing under God’s mighty hand.’ When Life Gets Hard, p. 49.
I know that God took 2016 and helped dismantle erroneous thinking and attitudes. Hopefully in Him and through Him, there is a better foundation on which to build for my future. I arrive at 2017 with peace, joy and contentment that the world has never provided.
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” Phil 3:12.