Are you even trying?

In 2014 I wanted to work on being slow to speak, slow to anger, and quick to listen.  James 1:19 - "everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires."  I wanted this to be evident not only in my personal life but professional life as well.  As a teacher I feel that when you have students that want to act up it's very difficult to be slow to anger.  Also when you need to teach several different lessons in 2.5 hours it's hard to be slow to speak and quick to listen.  Picture this you call on a student to answer a question, all eyes are on them and the student just sits silently with what feels like 5 minutes.  Being impatient you want to cut in and move on to the next student instead of giving them time to process their thoughts.  On the other hand, you have some students who are such are story tellers.  They are just so long winded in getting their point across where you would just rather tune them out like the rest of your class is doing and move on to the next thing instead of actually listening to what they have to say which sometimes happens to be a very valid point.

I know these are three things I want to develop because they honor God and are evidence to others of my faith.  I asked God during my quiet time to please empower me and give me strength to develop these traits.  As a humans operating in the flesh we are naturally going to be SLOW to listen, QUICK to speak & QUICK to become angry.  Therefore, we truly must have God strengthen us from within in order to obey his word successfully.  Trying to cultivate Christ-like character without Christ will result in FAILURE.  When returning back to school after break I started to see progress in myself but only temporarily.
Most days I really left the school feeling like a failure.  I was upset I said God I asked you to help strengthen me to be slow to speak, slow to anger, and quick to listen.  You are supposed to be giving me strength to do these things.  I told you before I cannot do it on my own.  I wanted God to make me obey his commandments.  I was basically saying God you are going to have to reach into my body and force my mouth and actions to show love to others because I can't do it.  But the truth is I didn't WANT to do it.

God is a perfect gentlemen he is not going to MAKE you do anything.  You have to put forth your own effort.  God gave you the ability to have self control and daily YOU make a conscious decision to either have self-control or not to have self-control.  You must be intentional.  See I was making a conscious decision to not be slow to anger, quick to listen, or slow to speak. There was no one to blame but myself.  I quickly learned that God gives you strength to add to your attempts to please Him. Scripture says in Romans 8:26, "the spirit HELPS us in our weakness." It doesn't say the spirit does it for us because we are weak.  As humans we have free will.  Although God truly loves for us to obey his commands he is not going to force us to do it.  God is there to HELP you.  Not control you like a robot and do it for you.

Scripture says in 2 Peter 1:5 "make every effort to add to your faith."  Can you truly say you that DAILY you are giving your best effort and being intentional about developing Christ-like character?  We must work WITH God to develop character within us that reflects him who is within us.  No, you cannot do it alone and no God will not do it FOR you.  We must give effort.  We must spend time with God daily because the closer we are to Him the more we begin I look like him and secondly when the test comes we have to try our best to pass it and God will HELP us to succeed.

"God urges us to do things His way, but He won't force us. The choice is up to us." - Joyce Meyer
What fruits are you trying to develop? How has your journey been?  Have you been successful?  Leave a comment below with the Christ-like character traits you are trying to develop. post signature

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© Miss TierraneyMaira Gall