What should a Christian look like? Not physically, but in our character—in the way we act and in who we are. Or, to put it another way, what should be happening to us as we continue our time here in these lives?
“…That you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:19)
The answer to the question of what should be happening to us, as the years pass and we move through our allotted time here on Earth, is that we should be soaking up more and more who God is, “…until Christ is formed in you.” (Galatians 4:19b)
What this means in a practical sense is that as the years pass and we grow in our knowledge of who God is as He has revealed Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ, and through His written Word, we should begin to increasingly exhibit His character. This, of course, assumes that we genuinely know who God is, because He is not simply whomever we imagine Him to be.
Years ago I made a necklace for myself out of little beads with letters of the alphabet on it, like baby bracelets used to be made of. It made absolutely no sense if you simply looked at it because the letters didn’t form any words, but each bead was the first letter of one of the character qualities of God, which I got from a Precept Upon Precept course (Romans III) written by Kay Arthur, which I used as a memory prompt. What a worthwhile effort it is to understand the true God we worship! He is:
Omniscient (He knows everything);
Omnipotent (He can do anything);
Omnipresent (He is everywhere);
Eternal (He has no beginning and no end);
Immutable (He never changes);
Incomprehensible (We can never really fully understand Him);
Self-Existent (He exists in and of Himself);
Self-Sufficient (He is able to do anything He desires without our help, but in His graciousness He allows us into His purposes);
Infinite (He has no limits);
Transcendent (He is above everything);
Sovereign (He is supreme over everything);
Holy (He is perfect in all He is and does);
Righteous (He always does what is right);
Just (He is fair);
Merciful (He is compassionate);
Longsuffering (He is patient);
Wise (God knows what is best—we can trust His decisions because of this, even if they make no sense to our human sensibilities);
Loving (God loves us so much that the second person of the Trinity, God the Son, was born into this world to sinlessly carry the punishment for our sins so we might be forgiven);
Good (He acts out of His goodness, not ours);
Wrathful (He hates all that is evil);
Truthful (He never lies);
Faithful (He is always true to His promises); and
Jealous (because He understands how harmful it is for us to wander away from Him, His desire is that we follow Him).
As we immerse ourselves in the Word of God, whether we do a specific study of who God is or simply keep studying what He says—and as we submit our wills on a day to day, moment by moment basis—we will begin reflecting who God is to others.
While some of these qualities are exclusive to God Himself, others can and will be reflected in us in an ever increasing quantity. Because God is holy, we ought to strive for holiness in our lives. Because He is just we ought to be just. He is merciful, longsuffering, loving, truthful, faithful, and good, therefore we ought to exhibit these qualities in our dealings with others. As we spend time with Him, we will become wiser because He is the source of all wisdom. Second Corinthians 3:18 describes this process when it explains, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord [when we expose ourselves to God’s glory in the “mirror” of His Word], are being transformed into the same image [are being made more like Him] from [His] glory to [His] glory [reflected in us], just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
The goal of our lives is to, as we spend more and more time with Him, become more and more like Christ in character. When others looks at us, we should be the salt of the earth and light in the darkness. Throughout our stay here, we are to grow in godliness—in what is good—so that our lives will be as Proverbs 4:18 describes: “The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.”
Please help me be filled with all of Your fullness; help my path be like the morning sun, shining ever brighter until the full light of day! Amen.