Problems Reveal Our Character
Category : Thoughts
By Matt Hampton
Faculty, College of Theology – Grand Canyon University
Proverbs 27:19 states that as in the water the face reflects the face, so the heart of man reflects the man. James 4:1 asks what causes the quarrels and fights among you? Is it not this that your passions are at war within you? At a recent National Pickleball Tournament God revealed my true character and inner heart.
If you are not familiar with pickleball, just google that topic or look up ‘pickleball’ to find out what I am describing. At this national tournament, a large group of believers gathered to have a bible study. The leader of the group shared how in his experience, any sporting activity or pickleball in this case, did not build character but actually brought out his true character. When he gets angry or upset or does not agree with a call that is made, it is not building his character, it is actually revealing his true character and bringing out what is already in his heart.
When you face problems or when something gets you upset, is your first and natural thought to blame the other person or the problem that is occurring? I don’t about you but I am quick to blame the other person and my flesh yells loudly with anger, fear, regret, frustration or whatever emotion you want to fill in the blank with. My emotions are quick to jump to conclusions but what I am realizing more and more is that when these things happen it is actually bringing out what is in my heart. I realize more and more that I have issues that I have to give to God and allow Him to refine my heart. I have to surrender to Him so that He can make me more like Him and His heart.
What is it that gets you upset? What angers you? What troubles you? What makes you the most frustrated? Is it your children that you are frustrated with or did you yell because of something they did? Did you get a bad grade on an assignment? Is it a spouse or relationship that you are in and is there something that they did that made you very upset? Does your coworker that drives you crazy? A boss that you disagree with? A social issue that drives you insane? You fill in the blank or make up your own question. Only you know what problems bother you the most.
When these things do happen, the problem is not helping to build your character. It is actually revealing or bringing out your true character or what is already inside of your heart. How do we allow God to refine us so that our heart is more like His in those situations?
The more we surrender ourselves to God and the closer we grow in our relationship with Him, the more His heart will be revealed. We will never be perfect but as we do this our reactions will reveal more of His heart. So today spend time looking at your own heart and ask God to make your heart more like His. Reflect on Proverbs 27:19 and James 4:1, and ask God to help your heart be changed.