Sunday, August 6, 2017

Spiritual Yardsticks to Evaluate Character

UV 2741/10000 Spiritual Yardsticks to Evaluate Character
But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
Psalm 86 v 15
The Lord is slow to anger and quick to forgive, slow to punish and quick to reward. This is the trait of great leadership. He is able to swiftly execute punishment or to vent His anger but He holds Himself back. He restrains Himself. Instead, He delights in showing mercy to those who truly repent and do not take His righteousness or His power to punish for granted. He is ever gracious and full of compassion. These are the precise traits that Jesus demonstrated during His walk on earth. He forgave freely the woman who was being stoned to death for immorality according to the law given through Moses. He has the power to judge her and He alone having not sinned could be her righteous judge, yet He chose to forgive her, saying , “ Go and sin no more.” In so doing He showed mercy without compromising with the truth of the need to be moral and faithful in one’s private life. Through these qualities, He proved that He is one with the Father. We too if we are to show we are one with the Father and the Son Jesus, need to be slow to anger and quick to forgive.
Personal knowledge and experience of the character of God in our lives leaves us no excuse to remain unchanged and uninfluenced by the example of Jesus. If we call God our Father, we should be like Him and His son Jesus. We ought to be gracious in all our ways and not proud, arrogant, irritable, harsh and selfish. St James exhorts us to “be slow to speak and quick to listen.” We need to consider the needs of others and be sensitive to their feelings. We should be willing to extend to them the same extent of mercy or forgiveness and compassion that the Lord has shown to us. We need to be patient and self controlled and not giving in to fits of rage.
We need to daily measure ourselves against these divine yardsticks or measuring rods- of whether we are compassionate, patient, self controlled, forgiving, gracious and truthful. As we find ourselves falling short of the standards of the Lord, we must ask Him to give us the grace to fill the gaps in our character with regard to these traits. If we can increase degree by degree, day by day in these attitudes and traits, the grace and glory of the Lord will shine through our lives.
Prateep V Philip

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