I’ve kept my head low for the past month, preparing new materials for October’s speaking engagements. Those weekends are now behind me, and I’m coming up for air. I’m grateful for time to catch up on tasks in my office as well as routine household chores, but I’m also thankful for time to reflect and write about the truths I’ve been teaching.
Here’s the one on my mind today: God’s heart for His children is that they grow in holiness.
God wants us to become more like Him, untainted by sin and its consequences. How does this happen? Well, I believe that growth in holiness often takes place in community. That is, within human relationships.
No one’s perfect. People disappoint and hurt each other—sometimes on purpose but often unintentionally. Regardless of evil intent or lack thereof, relationships fracture and fall apart. When we’re feeling angry, frustrated, betrayed or disappointed, we can either withdraw and walk away from others, or we can choose to view them as God-ordained opportunities to grow us in holiness.
Relationships, especially with difficult or wounded people, reveal our shortcomings—impatience, selfishness, and pride. It’s humbling to recognize these things in ourselves, but we ought to be encouraged in knowing that change is possible as we allow the Holy Spirit to mature us.
Colossians 3:12 says that God has chosen us to be holy people. Thankfully He gives us instructions for how we can partner with Him as He works in us. He says we’re to clothe ourselves “with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” We’re to make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive those who offend us because, after all, He forgives us. The most important piece of clothing we’re to put on is love.
Putting on these character qualities means taking off others such as jealousy, anger, envy, suspicion, and bitterness. The old nature is removed as the new nature takes hold.
Let’s not resent or resist the difficult people in our lives. Rather, let’s see them as tools in God’s hands to fulfill His heart’s desire for us. They’re not meant to make our lives difficult; they’re one of God’s means of making us holy.
What are your thoughts?