Topic: Develop Your Character [November 22, 2016]
Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset—rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world. —1 Peter 5:9
We may look at other people and think they never have to go through anything difficult, but we all go through different things. Some people have gone through devastating things that nobody knows anything about. Some people have learned the art of suffering silently. They know only God can help them, so they don’t bother telling everyone they meet what they are going through.
It is not wrong to share our troubles with a friend or counselor, but the point is that we cannot assume others are not having challenges in life just because they don’t look depressed or don’t talk about their problems. We all get hurt at times, and we all have the same opportunity either to let it make us bitter or to let it make us better. How can injustices make us better? For one thing, they help us develop character. Doing what is right when we don’t have feelings supporting us builds strong character in us. Intelligence and talents are God’s gifts, but character is developed. We need to move beyond hurt and be willing to give ourselves away and lay down our lives for others (John 15:13).
Lord, help me to get my eyes off of my troubles and to reach out and help those around me who are hurting. Give me discernment and compassion to truly make a difference. Amen.