Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

In His Image - Article

Ever wanted to be a Samson? Rippling muscles, long flowing hair, powerful persuasion tactics (killing a few thousand men with the jawbone of an ass is no small feat!)


Or perhaps being an Esther is more your style. Gorgeous, brave, picked in a line up by the most powerful man in the land. (Did you know she spent a year being bathed in oil, perfumes and cosmetics before the big day?)

Whatever the case, guess what? Samson had serious pride issues and Esther was afraid of rejection. Sure, they would have been on the cover of Sport’s Illustrated, Rolling Stone, and The Edge. But, all celebrities – no matter how great they look – have human hearts and frail spirits. Just like us.

Samson trusted his strength to make up for his character deficits. Don’t. It doesn’t work. Whenever he lost his temper he blew a gasket. Once he ripped a lion apart. Another time he tied foxes tails together and burned his enemies fields. There was also the time he ripped the city gates from the ground and carried them to the top of the nearest hill. Or the time he killed 30 men to steal their clothes in order to pay a debt he owed. You never read of Samson walking quietly into a cafĂ© and ordering a Latte. He didn’t do ‘civilized.’ His pride led him to misery. Eyes gouged out, head shaved, pushing a mill wheel round and round and round. Why? Because he trusted his strength. He had muscles on his muscles, but his character was paper thin. And it was character in the end that really mattered. It always is.

You can’t put a photo of character on the front of a glamour magazine. You can’t write an article with 10 steps to the perfect character. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a decision. And another one. And another one. For years and years – as many as you live – every decision you make. When your beauty has faded, your character has just begun. Paul said, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

There are a lot of things we think of when we ponder Heaven. Streets of gold. The tree of life, sea of glass, a river coming from the throne of God. Sitting at Jesus feet. But, of all that will be in Heaven, there is only one thing that you will have brought with you. The rest will already be there. That one thing is your character.

Every angle the media comes from leads us to the conclusion that looks are everything. But your character begins where skin deep ends. Do you want to be truly beautiful? Start with your heart. Do you want true strength? Develop a Christlike character. Look at Jesus. Every day. The more you do, the more you will become like Him. And when you get to Heaven, He’s going to give you a new body. But your character will continue from where you left off before his second coming! So, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2) Let us explore His perfect character. We are, after all, made in His image.