I confess that many of my blogs grow from a clever idea for a title. Take this one for example. I was thinking about character traits one day. My mind moved on to the verses in the Bible that talk about being not only hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word. It moved on further to reminding that I need to (and we need to) act in kindness and compassion to one another. Those actions need to define our lives.
All of this is taken from James 1:21-24.
21Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. (Emphasis mine.)
I’ll break it down.
Care: Several verses in the Bible talk about Jesus being overcome with compassion. The Messiah of the world cared a lot about those around Him. Think about it. He had to. He endured the worst suffering of all humanity. To me, that means He cares more than this mortal, limited mind understands. And because Jesus cares, I care. Why? Because the Bible instructs me to be Christ-like.
Actor: This word puts the movement into this whole concept. The verses above basically mean that we can’t just listen to the Word. We can’t just soak in biblical instruction because we’ll forget what we learned if we don’t act on it. We can’t just go to church and sit there half interested, cuz if we do we’ll live half lives. We can’t go through the motions in life, because if we do, life will be motionless. We need to be doers and be active. We must take what we hear and put it into practice.
Trait: A distinguishing quality. Distinguished is an important word here. Biblically, we’re told not to conform to the patterns of this world. It’s easy to just do what the majority does and to follow the path that most have trudged to get where they got. Conformity is not distinguished. Not in the least. Conformity is actually boring, messy, disappointing and uninteresting. But distinguishment…that’s sophisticated. That’s endearing. That’s special. That’s unique. That is a term of identity. In this case, an identity in Christ. Nothin’ more distinguished than that.
Care Actor Trait.