Character en Christo

What does this yielding to the Spirit in order to live from the new nature look like?

“And all of us have had that veil removed [that separated us from God] so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord.  And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more” (II Cor. 3:18 NLT).  Yielding to the Spirit makes us look more and more like Jesus.

“For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness,’ has made us understand that this light is the brightness of the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.  But this precious treasure – this light and power that now shine within us – is held in perishable containers, this is, our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own” (II Cor. 4: 6-7 NLT).

Not our own.” We’ve made the choice that we don’t want to eat from the recipe for “Character con Carne,” character made by the flesh.  We want to eat from the recipe for “Character en Christo,” character in Christ.

God’s always testing us – not to punish us, but to straighten and strengthen us and present us transformed.  I brought up “kindness” at the end of our last post, so let’s start there.

Kindness: “Being gentle and ready to help, showing brotherly love.” “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Two year old Elijah passed this test. “Another day Elijah (he calls himself Yiya) ran over to comfort his crying baby sister by patting her tummy and softly saying that he was right there with her. When his mother affirmed his actions, he looked up at her and said simply, “Yiya is like Jesus.”*

While Elijah demonstrated a tender kindness, he could have ignored his baby sister and continued playing the game he wanted to play.  That would have been self-centered.  Or he could have gotten frustrated and yelled at the baby to be quiet.  That would have been mean.

What does kindness look like in your life? Your child’s life?  How can you tell if you are performing on your own or “not your own”?


*From our earlier blog post, “Let This Two Year Old Lead Us.”

Categories: Being Like Jesus | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Character en Christo

  1. Shelly

    I think it’s hard to know sometimes if I am being kind to show Christ’s love, or being kind to bring glory to myself. My desire is “unconditional kindness,” and not “self-righteous kindness,” so I am aware that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jer 17:9 ESV

    I love the pure, childlike kindness Elijah shows. Thanks for the precious story to demonstrate the kindness that reflects a heart of pure intent.

  2. Karen Olsen


  3. Karen Olsen

    Thanks for your comment. You are so right that it’s often hard to tell your own motivation — for example, to make yourself feel good or because the Spirit is prompting and enabling you. (And it usually feels good to obey the Spirit and to bless someone!) Actually, any truly good and helpful idea and act is from the Lord, for He is keeping our hearts beating and our minds working. Every good and perfect gift is from above, says James 1:17, “coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow” (NASB). The end of this verse says that the Father never changes – he makes no shadows. While our motives tend to be mixed, and we change, God has a firm handle on things and sends good gifts anyway!

    It is wise to reflect upon why we think and act as we do, but too much self-reflection can be unhealthy. Balance is needed. Focus on Christ is needed. If we are seeking to know God’s Word and follow it, we need to trust that God through His Spirit is working in our minds to help us make good choices. He helps us moderate our attitudes and desires. He helps us love and serve others. Ephesians 2:8-10 explain why it makes sense that He gets the glory, while we get to bask in the joy of it.

  4. Kathy Siscoe

    I love your message about love….keep up the great writing 🙂

    • Karen Olsen

      Thanks for letting us know you’ve read some on our blog! Join us any time. A technical glitch has delayed the second post that was to go up last week, so maybe we’ll see three instead of two posts this week. I don’t know, but stay alert for some new articles coming!! Hopefully, you’ll see a new one tomorrow!!
      Keep leaning on the Lord!

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