by Dana Skulan
I am becoming.
What does that really mean? Some people suggest we're all "evolving" or some like to think of themselves as a "work in progress." I often wonder what are they evolving into and what are they progressing towards? When I read further in their on-line commentary I learn that the direction of such progress is defined as simply..."more".
Well, more what? More beautiful? More popular? More wealthy? More influencial on social media? Is that the best "more" we can be?
Especially at the New Year there is a great deal of focus on "the self". Media leads this charge with advertisments about how to "look better," "feel better" and even "become a better you", and that's not entirely a bad thing . But nearly all of it seemed to lack a direction that would actually bear out anything good, anything better for the reallly long haul of life. If the 'more' or 'better' is only for the things on the surface, than its just an image we're adjusting, a mask we've improving, and that is not going to give me anything real that will strengthen me in living out a better life.
I am wanting to begin this decade focused on becoming something that has a higher "more" and I judge that by holding it up against God's Word. Is it more of what God is calling me to be? If I have more of this, whatever it is, will it bring me the fruit in my life, the benefit in my life that matters for the long range trajectory of where I want to end up, of the legacy I want to leave behind? In Galatians 5:22, we're told about the Fruit of the Spirit. This is a scripture that has spoken to me all of my life as a Chrstian, particularly in my daily walk. It is a target that I know is worth working towards. It is the "More" that matters, the more that is worth becoming.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have cruicified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Galations 5:22-24 NKJV)
I want be more Loving. I want to be Joyful and I want to walk in greater Peace. There is no arguing about that. There is no debate about the inherent goodness in those three things. How to get there, what it looks like in my behavior, how to abide in those the things? Well, there are pages of discussions we can have about that. But I do know that those things are worth my focus, and are worthy of "becoming."
Do I want more Long-suffering? Not when you put it that way! But I know it also can be translated as Patient and yes, I want to be more Patient with others, with my children, with my husband and myself. And I want to be more patient with God and He has given me lots of opportunities to practice that, each of which have proven to be worth the wait. And yes, I want to have more Kindness and Goodness. I want to "be" a person who is Kind, who is Good, and doesn't just want those things but daily exercises those traits. And I have learned that no one becomes those things just by trying, but by acknowledging that only through Christ in me, His Spirit in me, can I possiblly exercise patience, kindness or goodness towards others.
It is Christ who demonstrated faithfulness, gentleness and self-control by living a sinless life, by going to the cross for us and dying for our sins even as we spit on Him and then He went to hell and the grave and returned to restore us all and give us His very Spirit so that we can have these truths. Do I want to "be" Faithful? Yes! Do I want to "be" more Gentle? Absolutely! I can get snarky and harsh with my words sometimes. And do I need more "Self-Control"......do I really need to answer that? Of course, everyday, with a bombardment of temptations sitting in a small device in my hand!
Becoming is a process, an active verb that never arrives but rejoices in the fact that it is still in motion, all the way up until we take our last breath. And we get to choose what we're aiming towards, we get to make choices that effect our trajectory, and by the grace of God, if we don't give up, we can be changing and becoming more like the person God intended us to be, more like He designed us to be, when we are pointed in the direction of His Word.
What is your "More" for this year? You are "Becoming" something, so make sure you are pointed towards something that as you get closer it looks like the person you really want to be.