Take this step to be like Jesus
I’ve heard that a person’s character is defined by who they are when no one else is around.
I’m not 100% sure about that definition…instead, what we do with our time when no one else is around is how we develop our character.
When no one is looking, the choices we make will shape us. Even the passive choice to “do nothing” has a sculpting effect. Think of our time as spending cash. How we spend it – either wasting or investing it – will shape who we are.
Paul knew this quite well, which is why he told Timothy:
1 Timothy 4:7-10
But have nothing to do with irreverent and silly myths. Rather train yourself in godliness, for,
the training of the body has a limited benefit,
but godliness is beneficial in every way,
since it holds promise for the present life
and also for the life to come.
This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. In fact, we labor and strive for this, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of everyone, especially of those who believe.
We understand that musicians practice for hours when no one is looking so when it comes time to perform, they do it perfectly. We get it that basketball players shoot 100s of free throws a week so they’re ready when they’re fouled late in a game and have to step up to the line.
Training happens when no one is looking – it’s intentional work. Now, earlier in his letter to Timothy, Paul equated godliness with being like Jesus. But I think we Christians don’t see how important it is for us to labor and strive to be like Jesus. So, let’s take an intentional step in that direction and see what God does with our time investment.
Jesus was intimately connected to the Scriptures. On a regular basis, Jesus would quote or reference God’s Word. Here’s just a couple of ideas to put some of God’s Word directly into your life:
· Use a verse as a password – every time you log in to an account, say the verse. “John3:16” or “Psalm100:1” fulfills most password requirements to have a capital letter, lower case letter, number, and special character. Perhaps your password at work is a reminder of being faithful or diligent, like Colossians3:23 or Proverbs22:29. Maybe the password for your online bank account is about being wise with money, like Proverbs21:17 or 2Corinthians9:6.
· Have a verse for when you start your car, a “key” verse you need to know. Proverbs3:5 and Ephesians2:8 would be good choices.
· Have a verse to repeat whenever you wash your hands. I learned 1 John 4:7-8 in a tune when I was a kid. The tune is burned into my memory, so I can “sing” those verses at any time. As often as I need to wash my hands, I’m reminding myself multiple times per day that loving others is important, and God is the one who loved us first.
It’s ok to pull out your phone to look up the verse so you say it correctly. And…you don’t have to implement all of these suggestions. The point is to find one thing in your day that you do repeatedly, and attach a verse to it. Actively invest your time. God guarantees that this kind of training will be beneficial both in the present life and also for the life to come.