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Monday, December 1, 2008

Living Life to the HILT

Let's talk about character development.

One part of spirituality is like an on-off switch: you are either genuinely yielding your life to Christ or you are not. The other part is maturity: With time we are to become more and more like Christ in our characters. This part is progressive.

My mnemonic for character is HILT. The key components are:
  1. Humility
  2. Integrity
  3. Love
  4. Trust
Humility grows out of truly comprehending grace and is a somewhat inevitable outcome from truly seeking to grow in integrity, love and trust. Since God is opposed to the proud but blesses the humble, it is obviously essential.

Integrity means developing congruence between your visible life and your invisible life. Your visible life is what you do in public and what you say. Your invisible life is what you do in private and what thoughts you allow to run through your mind. Integrity is when visible and invisible are an undivided whole. None of us have arrived; the question is: is this something you constantly strive for, or not? If not, the opposite of integrity is hypocrisy. According to my Bible, Jesus is not terribly fond of hypocrites.

Love is the fulfillment of the law and the goal of the gospel. All of the bad things we are not supposed to do: the reason is because they keep us from love. Christian growth isn't just sin management. Sin (the flesh, selfishness, lethargy, apathy) needs to be reined in and controlled because it gets in the way of loving and growing in love. If you are growing in love for God and people you are growing. Anything that helps you grow in love is good; anything that gets in the way is an impediment.

Trust = Faith. We are humble (we stop trusting in ourselves) so that we can exercise faith in God. If your goal in life is to please God, then go and learn what this means: "Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God."

Grow in these and you are growing indeed! And yes, this will all be on the test!

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