Proverbs 19 10-19-22

If we want to be like God, then we need God in order to do it. His Spirit stands at the ready to help us.

13 I can do all this through him [the Spirit of Christ] who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

As we continue looking at the culture of God, we are defining the characteristics of what it is to be godly–to be like God. We continue in 1 Corinthians 13,

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

Here is where the character of God begins to really shine.

  • Love does not dishonor others– AGAPE love, that self-less, others-centered love, never dishonors others, whether in words, tone, or look. This characteristic takes immense self-discipline, which is why most of us fail miserably in this area.
  • Love is not self-seeking– The heart of the problem with humans is the problem of our hearts: We are selfish and self-centered. Our thoughts are turned inward because we do not begin our lives with the Holy Spirit as the Center of our lives. We learn to not be self-seeking as we mature in Christ. It is a worthy goal, but hard-won.
  • Love is not easily angered– James said it best, “My brothers and sisters, take note of this: Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, because human anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires” (James 1:19-20). Want to be like God? Then control your anger (Exodus 34:6-7).
  • Love keeps no record of wrongs– Here is the real kicker. God doesn’t, so we shouldn’t either. To forgive and forget means that we render the memory powerless over us. It doesn’t mean that we not have boundaries, but that we cancel the debt of the other person toward us. We strike the record and begin clean. Easy to say; hard to do. But, it’s who God is!
  • Nothing evil comes from God. Ever. Even judgment is based upon our own choices.
  • But rejoices with the truth– Jesus came in grace and truth (John 1:17). When we profess truth, grace is given to us.

Tomorrow, we will look at the crowning characteristics of God in verses 7-9. Then, we will begin to put together the culture of God.

Abba, You have set a high bar for us, one that we can never attain in our own power. But, I think that’s the point. We need You, and our realization of that is very much like You showing Adam what he was missing in the Garden: Eve! The quicker we realize our need of You, the more abundantly You work in our lives. We were not designed to live alone; the God-sized hole in our hearts bears that out. May You fill us with Your Spirit as we acknowledge how much we need You everyday, Abba. Amen.

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