Christianity calls the process of character transformation sanctification. It means to make holy or set apart. 12 step recovery programs ask for a willingness to have God remove our character defects. Galatians 5:19-22 in the Bible contrast the works of the flesh as opposed to the fruit of the spirit. So, on one side we have sexual immorality and the other we have love. On one side hostility, quarreling and jealousy while the positive side calls for patience. The dark side has drunkenness and wild parties and the positive side calls for self-control.
So, how does character transformation happen? Not in a vacuum that is for sure. So, I got a first hand lesson about character defects and change the past couple weeks. I’m coming to see if I am disturbed with some person, situation or issue in my world, the problem is within me. I have absolutely no control over other people, places or things, so the only thing I have to work with is what I can change!
Due to situations beyond my control and by doing the right thing, we have our daughter, our sixteen month old granddaughter and our newborn grandson living with us. We have been empty nesters for some time and have enjoyed the empty nest. Through a process, I’ve surrendered to God in the circumstance and have come to see, I ask for Him to remove my defects of character. He is using this circumstance to highlight what needs to change in me. God’s yellow highlighter has identified large quantities of selfishness, impatience, greed, lack of love and love of comfort to name a few. Over the course of the weeks, He has helped me go from frustration, to acceptance to enjoyment. I’ve begun to notice my sixteen month old runs to her mom or my wife but not to me. I’ve asked, what is it about me she doesn’t come to me? My defect of being too impatient, gruff and rough is being replaced by patience and gentleness and trying to gain her interest rather than demand it.
I’ve not allowed myself to go beyond today. What the future holds, I’ve got no clue. Just for today, I have plenty of opportunity to have my character defects highlighted so I can make the necessary adjustments in me, so I can maintain a high level of love, joy and peace on my insides. So my daughter and grandchildren see something attractive in grandpa and want to be around him. I know I will have gained some serious ground the first time my granddaughter runs to me for comfort! Until then, it isn’t important how many people are living at our address, what is important is my willingness to allow the Lord to make me more like Him and less like me.