Read: “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4
Earlier this week, we looked at how a willingness to submit to the leaders God has placed in our life can be a marker for Christ-like character. Today, we want to explore two more ways to analyze character.
When your partner promises to take out the trash, do they follow through? When you promise to pick up toilet paper on the way home, do you? Those kinds of commitments may seem like small potatoes, but they ultimately point to a character that can be counted on through both the thick and thin of life. When we make a real commitment to someone else, we model the example that Christ demonstrated through his love for us. Through Christ, our deep need for companionship, our need for a commitment that will never be broken, is fulfilled. Because the truth is, we have been hardwired by God for companionship. When God saw that Adam was alone, it was the first time he said something was “not good.” Through committed relationships, we are given a taste of the kind of companionship that Christ offers us.
Another way to measure character is found in our lowest moments, when the worst happens and we’re shaken out of our routines. If you’ve been around longer than a minute, you quickly realize that we live in a broken world, and difficult times are an inevitability. What does your partner do when the going gets tough? What about you? Is it a do-or-die mission to fix it or an unwavering reliance on the unfailing promises of God? When we set our foundation in Christ, we are unshaken when faced with difficulties and can be “clothed with strength and dignity and laugh without fear of the future” (Proverbs 31:28). Times of trouble strip away any facades we have been able to build up and expose the core of our character. When everything is stripped away, what kind of character will a significant other see in you?
Pray: God, thank you for creating us with a need for companionship. When I seek to find that fulfillment in a person, remind me that it can only be found in you. And when I find myself in a difficult season, let me turn to you, and give me the strength to fight for the blessings you have given me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.