The world (and the church) are full of accomplished people who lack the character to lead. While it’s easy to hold such people up as examples to imitate, Jesus says no. Instead, he tells his people to value character over accomplishments. In Matthew 7:15-23, he tells his followers to identify trees by their fruit. Accomplished people whose lives leave a path of brokenness are false prophets, not Godly leaders.
Jesus is transforming people in whom his grace is at work. If that grace takes root in someone’s life, they become something new. This is similar to the way a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. That transformation is marked by spiritual fruit. Believers should exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. That is the sign of a genuine believer. So if we are going to follow Jesus’ example, we also need to prize character over accomplishments.
Questions for Reflection
- Who are the Christians that I most admire? Do I admire them for their accomplishments or for their character?
- Have I ever been manipulated by others pretending to have my best interest at heart? How did it leave me feeling?
- How does knowing that God judges character rather than accomplishments change the way that I see myself or others?
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