There’s a saying that goes, “Where there are people, there are problems” , that is true because we differ in so many aspects. We have different personalities, different cultures, different priorities, different beliefs, different upbringings, and more.
I also heard someone say that if you’re looking for a church that doesn’t have any conflicts, you won’t find any. That is true for the exact same reason, the church is comprised of people. Everywhere you go, you will be dealing with people.
But as Christians who have received Christ as their Savior, our main goal is to be godly and to influence other Christians to pursue godliness despite our differences.
I am currently reading a book by Jerry Bridges, it’s “The Practice of Godliness” and I am compelled to study and meditate on the word godliness as I see how valuable it is for Christians yet how casual we oftentimes address it.
You see, godliness, according to the book, comprises of two distinct but complementary traits:
1. God-centeredness – devotion to God
2. Godlikeness – Christian character
If we want to be godly (and it should be your goal if you are a Christian) you need to pursue it. Yes, we can only grow by the grace of God but remember that it is not a one way path, you need to be actively involved in your growth as well.
Philippians 2:12-13 is a good example of balance in this aspect.
We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling – our part
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do His good pleasure – God’s part
Our growth is our responsibility yet oftentimes, we are hindered… by our own selves,
“That’s just the way I am!”
Have you heard that line before? Have you said something similar?
“I couldn’t get myself to submit to my husband, I have a strong personality.. I can’t help it! ”
“It’s just the way I talk to people…”
“I am always disorganized. This is just me!”
“If I don’t like you, I won’t talk to you, that’s just the way I am”
“I can’t help but gossip and talk about other people when they’re getting into my nerves”
“If you don’t like how I speak, how I act, how I dress, how I use my time, that’s your problem! “
“I’m the kind of woman who is…. “
“I’m old, I have done enough..”
That attitude hinders growth, it hinders us from being godly. The “That’s Just The Way I Am” attitude is pride. When you say that, you’re putting a period on the possibility of spiritual growth.
Here’s a simple self-examination test to ask yourself to know if you are cultivating this attitude in your life:
1. When I am confronted about my attitude, what is my reaction?
When you tend to be defensive, or maybe even angry then you probably are cultivating this attitude.
The Lord is not pleased to see a saved Christian living a double life, a life that sits on the edge, the gray areas. He is not pleased to see a Christian who is already content with his or her current state.
Pursuing godliness is progressive, it ends at death. May we have that holy discontent and yearn more of God this year.
As this has been a rebuke to me, I pray that this short blog will also keep you aware of the possibilities of clinging to this attitude that hinders your growth. I pray that we all see godliness in a newer, brighter light; to take it seriously and make that conscious effort to change and grow. Yes, we can do it by depending on the Lord, by asking Him for help, but also by actively participating and displaying godly character and taking the time to know more about God.