It seems that every couple of months another leader or celebrity athlete is disavowed because of a lack of character. When the recent scandal with Lance Armstrong began, I didn’t believe it because he seemed like such a “good guy” and an example for overcoming adversity. But when the truth came out and his character was exposed, another hero was taken off the pedestal.
Perhaps the most troubling is when it’s a Christian leader. Every time a pastor or TV evangelist falls into sin, the media has a field day, and there are so many negative comments about the church and Christians. Upstanding character isn’t just for leaders or public figures though; God has designed for every Christian to grow to become more Christ-like in their attitudes, motivations, and behaviors. One of the realities is that many people base their perceptions of God on our character! When they observe a lack of integrity or an attitude of always complaining, we misrepresent what it means to live a life of faith in our amazing God.
Jesus put it this way: “…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
What kind of life have you been shining before others lately?
There’s a great passage about our growth in godliness that at first glance seems like a paradox, but as you dig deeper, you’ll see that there is a divine partnership between God and us. Take a few minutes today to read 2 Peter 1:3-9.
To dig a little deeper, grab your journal to record your thoughts on these questions:
- Read 2 Peter 1:3-4: What do these two verses promise? What is God’s role in our growing in godly character?
- Read 2 Peter 1:5-9: What is our role in growing in godly character? What might hinder you from that growth?
Verse 8 gives a promise that I think every Christian wants a piece of:
"For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In other words, growing in the character qualities listed in that passage will give you an effective and productive Christian life. That’s the kind of life that I want to live! Let’s make every effort to grow in the godly character qualities that Peter listed, and let’s give God thanks for being at work in us, giving us EVERYTHING that we need for life and godliness!
Community Group Pastor