Sorry, God. I'm not that "type."


Two weeks ago, a commenter responded to my post on how Meekness really is like being a doormat, and I have been spending my time this week addressing some of the commenter's concerns.

First, I answered the question of whether meekness is a requirement for salvation.

Next, I answered the question of what meekness is, exactly.

Today, I am addressing the commenter's third question, which I rephrased the question to read:

"Does a person have to change their fundamental personality in order to fulfill the command to be meek or gentle?"

Like the first question posed on Monday, this hits on a very important aspect of the Christian faith that goes beyond our discussion of meekness and gentle

The issue is this:
God tells me to be A, but I'm more like B.  A and B are incompatible.  Is God telling me I have to change who I am?  Isn't God supposed to accept who I am and leave me be?

"That's just not who I am."

Have you ever told God, "That's just not who I am"?

Someone told me this argument once.  She used it as an excuse for screaming at, scratching, and physically attacking her child in anger.  (As a legal aside, at the time of this revelation by the mother, the child was grown and well out of harm's way.)

Her argument was, "I am an angry person.  This is just who I am.  Sure, I might not be the best Christian.  And I might not be the best parent.  But this is who I am, and I've reached a state of peace with myself.  God will have to accept me for who I am."

Yikes.  But while it's easy to blame this woman and point at her extreme response, don't we do the same thing?

God, I'm an impatient person.  I want results, and my employees don't live up to the expectations required by this office.  You want me to be patient, but I'm not that type.

God, I'm a meticulous person.  I want to plan out every aspect of my life.  I'm just being careful and looking ahead.  You want me to have faith and trust your Sovereign plan, but I'm not that type.

God, I'm A.  You want me to be B, but I'm not that type.


In one sense, these excuse-plainations have a point.  We are that type.  In fact, the Bible says so.  We are fallen.  We are sinners.  Our natural flesh is spiritually dead.  We are angry, impatient, and faithless.

In another sense, these statements are completely false.  Yes, we are fallen sinners, but we have been saved by grace. (Ephesians 2:8-9) Our natural flesh is spiritually dead, but we have been made alive with Christ. (Ephesians 2:4-6) We have been raised from the dead.  We have been given a heart of flesh to replace our hearts of stone. (Ezekiel 11:19) We are new creations. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

We have been made new!

We can become that type of person God wants us to be.

God loves you too much to leave you where you are.

God loves us.  He came to us, took on human form, and died for us.  He extended forgiveness and salvation and holiness and adoption to us.  He loved us while we were yet sinners, but he doesn't want us to stay in our sin. (Romans 5:8)

We were once dead IN sin, but now we are dead TO sin. (Romans 6)

Don't waste your newfound life.  Why live as defeated individuals, when we are "more than conquerors" in Christ Jesus? (Romans 8:37)

The Christian is linked to Christ.  A metaphor describing this relationship is that Jesus is the "vine," and we are the "branches" extending from Him. (John 15:1-17) When we are connected to Him, we "bear fruit."  This "fruit" includes the characteristics I discussed on Wednesday: compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, forbearance, and forgiveness.

Why?  Because Christ loves us.  In His wisdom, he knows that the best thing for us is to be as connected to the Best Person in the universe.  And we cannot be connected to Christ without being changed by Him.  He won't let us stay where we are, and quite frankly, we won't want to.

So what if you're A?  You might not become B overnight.  You might not even ever become B.  It might not be easy.  It might not be fun.  But Christ will empower you to stop acting like A and start becoming like Him, and you won't regret it.