“Am I behaving like what I really want?”
Well, let’s face it, the late night popcorn feast I just partook in does not support my desire to lose five pounds. Parking as close to the mall as possible does not speak to my vow of getting more exercise this year. And certainly, hollering my head off when the people that I love don’t clean up after themselves does not sync with my desire for a peaceful family life that boasts mutual respect and healthy conversation.
This is a question I was recently confronted with during a two-day interactive seminar that I attended called “Crucial Conversations” (the seminar teaches people how to have hard conversations well).
Before one can answer this question, it’s necessary to ponder it for a minute, to wrap one’s head around what the question actually insinuates. The awkwardness of the question seems to be intentional as it makes one stop and re-phrase the sentence for clarity.
Thus, “Am I acting in a way that is going to bring about the results that I am after?”
This is really a question of my character, integrity, resourcefulness, and maybe even my grit. So often there is a disconnect between what I really want from my career, relationships, self-care, and dreams on the one hand, and the behaviour that I exhibit on the other.
Therefore, it is most fortuitous that God has set up a “plumb line” for my behaviour. His character is the gold standard for my actions. Throughout the Bible, we catch glimpses of God’s character front and centre as we watch His story of redeeming the world unfold.
We see His Mercy when He led the Israelites out of Egypt.
His Faithfulness is seen in the interaction of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz.
His great Love for us is revealed in His willingness to envelope Himself in the fragility of human flesh and die in our place for our sins.
In Philippians 2:6-8, it says that, “Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
The fact that we are given glimpses of God’s character is a great privilege that we truly do not deserve.
In His loving kindness He has shown us by example how we are to conduct ourselves. Our behavior? Well, that is our responsibility. We just need to decide that what we want and how we act lines up with the example given to us by our Creator.
He is our ultimate example of flawless character, intact integrity, and unconditional love.