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Tell of a time when someone treated you kindly after you were unkind to them.
The above paragraph is true but it is missing something. Focusing on the development of your character into a person of integrity and accountability is a good thing. But it is not a God thing.
As Christians we are called to follow Jesus. To look at Him. Not to find and fix the weaknesses in ourselves by ourselves. Christian Character is developed by dwelling on the perfect nature of God. This nature was revealed, in human flesh, through his Son Jesus.
Following Jesus is the primary purpose of the Christian life.
His humility demonstrates what happens to our nature and our character when we stop looking in the mirror - adjusting small strands of human hair - and focus instead through the mirror of God’s love - Jesus - into His perfect glory. By beholding we are changed.
If you have time, read the context around today’s verse. Read 7 verses before and 7 verses after - Philippians 2:1-15. The picture painted is a view of ourselves through the filter of Jesus:
Our community because of His humility
Our humility because of His obedience
Our obedience because of His perfection
Our perfection because of His cross
Our cross because of His example
Our example because of His radiance
Our shining - like stars -
because He is Lord - of all -
to the glory of God the Father
Our character is not ours. It is His, if we are His.
By humbling ourselves, fixing our eyes on Jesus, and following in His footsteps we become His image-bearers, increasing in glory as we bask in His. All to the glory of God the Father!
The Review and Herald, March 15, 1906