First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Who are you?

December 4, 2016

    Who are you? How would you describe your personality? Are you the bubbly person who resembles an otter? Are you more of a bear coming out of hibernation? Would a picture of a porcupine backed into a corner best describe you? I suppose it depends on the day, one's health, and a few other variables to determine which trait rises to the surface. We can't always be happy friendly folk and we shouldn't always be the grumpy 'don't get in my way' kind of people. Somewhere in the middle is a person who is balanced and approachable no matter the circumstance. The apostle Paul presents personality attributes that are broad in their scope. Take a look.

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:9-21, NIV)

After reading this text from Romans here are just a few personality traits that would be helpful for us to integrate into our lives. This particular text was directed toward the church. Paul was commanding the individual members of the church to exercise these attributes toward one another.  As one body with differing gifts, here is what the church needs to offer our world:

*sincere             *devoted          *honorable             *zealous              *servant           *joyful        *patient

*faithful             *generous        *hospitable            *Calm under fire       *rejoicing         *compassionate

*harmonious     *humble          *sensitive               *not vengeful          *person of integrity     *peaceful

*good

Unfortunately, too many people look like the things I bumped into today out in the woods. These ghastly things are treacherous and often leave red welts wherever they scrape your skin. In one or two instances, I was stumbling forward or slipping down inclines and reactively reached out to grab trees only to see these "Devil's Club". Needless to say, when I needed help to maintain stability, these things didn't help. 

Who are you? You can be all the things listed above in Romans 12. It takes work on your part but it can be done. It's easy to be like the image of the 'devil's club'. Anyone can be bristly, but it takes one who understands grace and forgiveness to be:

*sincere             *devoted          *honorable             *zealous              *servant           *joyful        *patient

*faithful             *generous        *hospitable            *Calm under fire       *rejoicing         *compassionate

*harmonious     *humble          *sensitive               *not vengeful          *person of integrity     *peaceful

*good

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