Testing Of Our Character
by Christine Jayakaran
Everyone who receives any form of education knows the importance of testing. A test shows a student’s progress and improvement and determines if they are ready for the next level of education. Spiritually, the wilderness is one way we are tested to prepare for the next part of our journey.
The primary area of our testing is our character. Character is who we are in private when no one is around. It’s the part of us that invisibly shapes our outward selves and, inevitably, our whole lives. A person can be successful, efficient, and charismatic, but if there are holes in their character, none of those other things will matter. Every single one of us is imperfect. All of us have flaws in our character, so it shouldn’t surprise us that by following Jesus, he will begin to bring healing and change deep in our personal and private lives. This transformation is what begins to be seen by others as we grow in our walk with God.
The wilderness has a very interesting way of shaping our character. The long waits, the harsh conditions of loss, and emptiness test our hearts and, in turn, our character. What we think, say, and do are all directly linked to who we are deep inside. The wilderness has an uncanny way of peeling back the curtain of our inner man and helping us see who we are deep inside.
In many psalms, King David will write of his feelings and flawed nature in frightening honesty. The powerful thing in those statements was that he acknowledged his issues with vulnerability, knowing that his God was all-powerful to change him, and his love was so steadfast that nothing could keep him away.
What if we were to look closer at ourselves and do a personal character check? What would we find? Would we be willing to come clean before God?
Make a list of statements beginning with “I am” and ending with negative character traits you have noticed this season. The intention is not to shame or guilt you but for you to expose these parts of yourself to the safe and healing hands of Jesus.
I admit that I am ………, ………, ……….,
I confess my sinfulness to you. I ask that you forgive my sins, heal my wounds, wipe clean my guilt and make me stand once more before you with a clean heart. Thank you for hearing my prayer.
In your son, Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen