Being like Jesus is simple. All we have to do is walk in step with the Spirit. Notice I didn’t say, “easy…”
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16
Yesterday, we began a quest to discover the culture of God. By studying 1 Corinthians 13, we first found that God is AGAPE love. What does AGAPE look like? Let’s look at the next verse:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
This selfless, sacrificial love of God has several descriptive elements:
- Love is patient- patience means, “to bear.” In soldier’s terms, it means “to be the last man standing,” or “to outlast your opponent.” In Christian terms, it means to take all that our opponent/enemy has to offer and keep loving. It’s the only way to win some people to Christ. If anything, it will be used as a testament against them at judgment. We pray the first option.
- Love is kind- this kindness is that which seeks the good of all, sees the good in all, and treats everyone and everything with the respect they deserve as creations of the Father. It’s an attitude that reflects the character of God. Kindness rules out rudeness, arrogance, and impatience, among other contemptuous attitudes.
- Love does not envy- To look at what others have and want it means that we have taken our eyes off of our Savior. We have turned away from our light and we no longer reflect that light to the people around us. We praise God for the blessings that come upon others and trust God for what we need.
- Love does not boast- Boasting comes when we take credit for that which we have not done. If all good things comes down from the Father of lights (James 1:17), then we receive from Him all that we have, so it is not ours about which to boast. Anything bad that comes to us is either from the enemy or from our own poor choices.
- Love is not proud- We are talking excessive pride here. It’s one thing to take pride in our work, but excessive pride is when we begin to think that we are entitled. This entitlement gives us the “right” to look down on others. What most don’t realize is that it also creates fear, fear of losing face, fear of being embarrassed, and fear of being found out that we are not what we seem.
The only way to be patient, kind, not envious, boastful or proud is to learn to walk in the Spirit. We walk in the Spirit by being constantly aware of His presence and participation in our lives and to ask Him constantly what is the next right thing to do. We pay attention when He draws our attention to something or someone; we listen much more than we speak, and speak only encouraging words, words that lift up and meet needs (Ephesians 4:29). Keeping in step with Him is our daily goal:
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25
Abba, as we walk through this passage, may we put on Your character as we would put on armor. May we clothe ourselves in Your righteousness (to meld two verses together: Romans 13:14 and 2 Corinthians 5:21). Being like You is the entire goal of our lives (1 John 3:2). Help us to see Christ clearly, Abba. Amen.