Character Makes Life Easier

Reading though Les Miserables (see previous blog post) got me thinking a lot about character, love and redemption. People often wonder how it is that God speaks to me. Certainly he inserts thoughts into my mind, or nudges my heart in directions he wants me to go, but there’s something larger going on behind the scenes. As Jesus sets me increasingly free to live inside his love and care for me, it changes the way I treat others. The grid through which I respond to people changes. Instead of being focused on my needs, either maximizing my benefit or minimizing any potential pain, I’m able to see them and care about them for who they are. This allows me to think in a clearer space where his nudgings and insights are not so hard to notice.

By no means do I attain all of this in every situation, but these statements describe how I’m learning to live inside his love for me. Please don’t think of these as a set of obligations to follow, but as the space that defines the freedom Jesus invites you to live in. Obligation will not produce this. Only by learning to live loved will we be free enough to sense his heart in our unfolding circumstances and be able to treat people with honor and grace.

  • Be yourself, no more and no less. Pretense is not your friend and deceit darkens your own soul.
  • Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Follow through on your word, even if you regret giving it.
  • Put relationships above things. Be kind and gracious to everyone, especially those you don’t think deserve it.
  • Live at the intersection of authenticity and compassion. You don’t owe everyone all you know, but make sure that what you do share is honest while it also gives grace to the hearer. Remember character is measured by how you treat people with kindness when you’re absolutely sure they are in the wrong.
  • Unless people are harassing or abusing you, you are better off hearing them out and working through their pain rather than cutting them off to protect yourself. Only those who want to hide in the darkness, cast aside relationships just because they become difficult. The best relationships are won through difficulties and misunderstandings.

It makes life so much easier when you treat people kindly, honor your own words, and trust that God is bigger than any mistake you can make. That’s a list of the things I’ve been thinking about. Feel free to add to it if you have other simple statements of what it’s like to live in God’s love toward others.

Share this Post!

Related post

22 Comments
  1. kent October 13, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Always remember you are caught up in a creative process. You are always creating something with your choices and how you respond to others. I want my life to be about creating beauty.

  2. kent October 13, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Always remember you are caught up in a creative process. You are always creating something with your choices and how you respond to others. I want my life to be about creating beauty.

  3. Angela October 14, 2010 at 5:25 am

    I loved your list, Wayne. I’m quoting you on FB. 🙂
    Lots to think about here.

  4. Angela October 14, 2010 at 8:25 am

    I loved your list, Wayne. I’m quoting you on FB. 🙂
    Lots to think about here.

  5. Javier October 14, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Be available as a source of love, joy and peace…simply available. This may be in contrast to our perceptions of pursuing others for the sake of “growing the kingdom”…simply available. It’s amazing how people are attracted to love.

  6. mark brown October 14, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Ah yes… “availability.”

    I love the fact that it’s a compound word. When we break it up, it literally means to “avail” ourselves to someones “ability”… avail-ablility! In the case of Javier’s comment, availing ourseleves to the Lord’s life giving ability (to create beauty, to love,…).

    Cool, eh?
    (Yes, I’m Canadian… but my citizenship is really in Heaven… in our Lord Jesus.)

  7. Javier October 14, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Be available as a source of love, joy and peace…simply available. This may be in contrast to our perceptions of pursuing others for the sake of “growing the kingdom”…simply available. It’s amazing how people are attracted to love.

  8. mark brown October 14, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Ah yes… “availability.”

    I love the fact that it’s a compound word. When we break it up, it literally means to “avail” ourselves to someones “ability”… avail-ablility! In the case of Javier’s comment, availing ourseleves to the Lord’s life giving ability (to create beauty, to love,…).

    Cool, eh?
    (Yes, I’m Canadian… but my citizenship is really in Heaven… in our Lord Jesus.)

  9. Linda Kieft October 15, 2010 at 7:49 am

    When I look at someone I ask God to show me how HE sees them….(we are all created in His image)….because often that person is driving me nuts and when I focus on HIS vision instead of mine…..it becomes clear – the true, real, sometimes hurting person – the person that God held in HIS arms and loved too. Making those relationships sweeter instead of frustrating.

  10. Linda Kieft October 15, 2010 at 10:49 am

    When I look at someone I ask God to show me how HE sees them….(we are all created in His image)….because often that person is driving me nuts and when I focus on HIS vision instead of mine…..it becomes clear – the true, real, sometimes hurting person – the person that God held in HIS arms and loved too. Making those relationships sweeter instead of frustrating.

  11. doug garber October 16, 2010 at 11:28 am

    “Be yourself, no more and no less. Pretense is not your friend and deceit darkens your own soul.”

    Bo’s Cafe, if you havent read it go get it and you will appreciate this statement more. Grrreeeaaatttt Book.

  12. doug garber October 16, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    “Be yourself, no more and no less. Pretense is not your friend and deceit darkens your own soul.”

    Bo’s Cafe, if you havent read it go get it and you will appreciate this statement more. Grrreeeaaatttt Book.

  13. Dale October 17, 2010 at 12:48 am

    Thank you. Good stuff. Love it.

  14. Dale October 17, 2010 at 3:48 am

    Thank you. Good stuff. Love it.

  15. Jill October 17, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Thank-you for the list
    I know it is not ‘rules’
    but it was a good reminder today
    I remember how God always welcomes me to Himself with open arms no matter whether I am loving Him back or not.
    So I am thankful for that knowing and I want to give that to everyone else….

  16. Jill October 17, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Thank-you for the list
    I know it is not ‘rules’
    but it was a good reminder today
    I remember how God always welcomes me to Himself with open arms no matter whether I am loving Him back or not.
    So I am thankful for that knowing and I want to give that to everyone else….

  17. Joel October 18, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    It hit me when you said “to protect yourself”. Many of my insecurities cause me to act in ways that I usually come to regret. It is taking me a long time to understand that I don’t have to be right and that another person not agreeing with me does not “invalidate” me. When I stop making people and their opinions and ideas the greatest affection of my heart I can start to accept them as a person or “one my my kind”…in the image of the Father. I used say “it doesn’t matter what others think”. That doesn’t work, it does matter, and it should, but it doesn’t ultimately matter. Only one man has walked the earth that could say what ultimately matters and he said “Abba loves you”.

  18. Joel October 18, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    It hit me when you said “to protect yourself”. Many of my insecurities cause me to act in ways that I usually come to regret. It is taking me a long time to understand that I don’t have to be right and that another person not agreeing with me does not “invalidate” me. When I stop making people and their opinions and ideas the greatest affection of my heart I can start to accept them as a person or “one my my kind”…in the image of the Father. I used say “it doesn’t matter what others think”. That doesn’t work, it does matter, and it should, but it doesn’t ultimately matter. Only one man has walked the earth that could say what ultimately matters and he said “Abba loves you”.

  19. Jennifer November 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    I think that the most powerful part of this note was the sentence: “Only by learning to live loved will we be free enough to sense his heart in our unfolding circumstances and be able to treat people with honor and grace.” Knowing, believeing and applying this makes the biggest difference in every part of life.. I constatntly forget about Jesus in my life and His love, but He still reminds me. Thanks.

  20. Jennifer November 6, 2010 at 1:18 am

    I think that the most powerful part of this note was the sentence: “Only by learning to live loved will we be free enough to sense his heart in our unfolding circumstances and be able to treat people with honor and grace.” Knowing, believeing and applying this makes the biggest difference in every part of life.. I constatntly forget about Jesus in my life and His love, but He still reminds me. Thanks.

  21. RwayneR November 7, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Thanks for your List. I like like reading stuff that expresses what is on my heart but hasn’t always made it into words I have spoken or written.

    I’m often reminded of the lesson in Ben Franklin’s autobiography where he had made a list of of 10 virtues that he knew would make him a better person and vowed to put them into practice in his life and later became very frustrated when he found he couldn’t do it.

    I’ve been trying to do just 1 item for the past 20 years that I know would fix the majority of relational difficulties at home; ie, “Where never is heard a discouraging word”, and have just recently caught myself NOT responding in a manner that puts the other down. Thank you Jesus for honoring my plea by showing me what it was that I didn’t know about the Fathers love that would enable me to react differently in that circumstance. I’m not yet clearly aware of what it is that I now know but I am seeing the results of the mitzvahs.

    Thanks Wayne for the reminders
    ……”and trust that God is bigger than any mistake you can make”.

  22. RwayneR November 7, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Thanks for your List. I like like reading stuff that expresses what is on my heart but hasn’t always made it into words I have spoken or written.

    I’m often reminded of the lesson in Ben Franklin’s autobiography where he had made a list of of 10 virtues that he knew would make him a better person and vowed to put them into practice in his life and later became very frustrated when he found he couldn’t do it.

    I’ve been trying to do just 1 item for the past 20 years that I know would fix the majority of relational difficulties at home; ie, “Where never is heard a discouraging word”, and have just recently caught myself NOT responding in a manner that puts the other down. Thank you Jesus for honoring my plea by showing me what it was that I didn’t know about the Fathers love that would enable me to react differently in that circumstance. I’m not yet clearly aware of what it is that I now know but I am seeing the results of the mitzvahs.

    Thanks Wayne for the reminders
    ……”and trust that God is bigger than any mistake you can make”.

Comments are closed.