Nobody wants to know the real truth about themselves. Nobody wants to know what others really think of them. Nobody wants to know what they NEED to change in their personality, disposition, and demeanor. Nobody honestly wants to know what their faults are. And I know why we don’t want to know those things… BECAUSE THEN WE’D HAVE TO CHANGE!
Character, personality, and spiritual flaws are like bad breath or body odor… the person who has it doesn’t know it, but everyone else does! And all God’s people said… OUCH.
God knows we are masters of rationalization and justification. He also knows we have blind spots that, by definition, we can’t see. So (for the Christian) God proactively works to expose to us our blind spots… character flaws… personality disorders… and our massive spiritual immaturity. In fact, God is so purposeful in ridding us of these things that He doesn’t leave it to chance. Thus Romans 8:29, “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…”
God predestines every Christian’s holiness… sanctification… and Godliness. He refuses to leave it to chance. He makes SURE that every one of His children continually grows and matures in their faith. He makes SURE that the things we don’t want to know about ourselves are not only exposed, but destroyed because they are in the way of becoming more like His Son.
How does God do this? Through pain… hardship… trials… and adversity. Why that way ONLY? Because that’s the ONLY way He gets our attention… it is the only way we learn. And THAT is why it is written in James 1:2-4…
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
So we don’t have joy in WHAT we go through that is difficult BUT RATHER the ultimate result of what we’re going through… Christ likeness.
So if you have a problem with pride… jealousy… lack of faith… anger… being gracious, merciful, kind, forgiving… or all the other things that Christ was, God WILL work those in you whether you ask for them or not! Why? Because He loves you. Read this next passage slowly…
Hebrews 12:5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by Him. 6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.” 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.