After we’ve been grounded in our relationship with Jesus, we need to learn how to invite Him into our other most important relationships—our family, friends, coworkers of all shapes, sizes, and beliefs—and learn how to keep Jesus at the center of all of them.
The first thing we need to recognize is that God has already placed us where He wants us. The next question, then, is: What do we do where He’s already placed us? How do we let Jesus shine into every other facet of our lives?
This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it (Titus 1:5-9).
OK, truthfully: How many of you just thought: “What does this passage have to do with me? This is about leaders”? Raise your hands (not that I’ll see them).
But now, think about this: Is there anything in this passage that isn’t relevant to every follower of Jesus? You know the answer. And from there, we can dig in:
• Which of the qualities listed in this passage has God already helped you with?
• What qualities in this passage, if any, seem impossible for you to attain?And why?
For sure, some of the qualities in this passage might come easily to us. About others we can honestly say, “God has dealt with me in this area, and I’m doing better.” Still others might be a continuing struggle. But it’s important to come to terms with where we are right now—even if it’s not where we’d like to be—and how God wants to inject his grace into our situations, whatever they are right now.
Here’s the good news: The fact that you’re reading this, desiring to learn more about what God wants, proves that God is already helping you to become the kind of person He wants you to be. And God’s not going to give up on us, even if we sometimes give up on ourselves.
This is where Season 2: Growing in Character can come alongside and help. We’ll deal with our most important personal relationships—starting with our families but also our friendships and work relationships. We’ll examine the struggles we all have controlling our tongues, dealing with stress, and in having the right attitudes toward our money and possessions.
We’ll also deal with the cost of obedience to Jesus, and what things—even good things—we might need to surrender to God, so we can receive His better things. (And I won’t lie: That particular session was the toughest in the entire series for me to write.) From there we’ll review the importance of spiritual discipline and/or just plain staying true to God no matter what, so that we can live fully integrated lives—where God is constantly intersecting with our daily lives rather than being pushed to the side or compartmentalized.
Again, it’s that easy and it’s that hard. So come along for the ride.