What is required for a pleasing walk? Paul tells us, “As the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do” (Colossians 3:12-13).
In other words, we are to ask ourselves, “Am I becoming more like Christ? Am I growing more patient or more quick-tempered? Kinder and gentler, or meaner and more argumentative? More tender and forgiving, or more bitter, holding onto grudges? Do I ‘bear with others’? Do I put up with the weaknesses and faults of those near to me, or do I always have to be right?”
Paul is suggesting that, in light of a coming day of judgment, it doesn’t matter what works you accomplish or what charitable deeds you do. No matter how kind you are to strangers, no matter how many souls you bring to Christ, this question remains: Are you still becoming more loving, patient, forgiving and forbearing?
Examining your walk with Christ means looking not so much at what you are doing as at what you are becoming. Such a walk cannot be achieved by human effort alone. It won’t happen by self-determination and saying, “I am going to become that kind of believer.” Instead, it happens by the work of the Holy Spirit, through faith in his Word.
First, we read these words and believe them to be God’s call to us. Then we examine ourselves and ask the Spirit to show us who we truly are, measuring ourselves by his Word. Finally, we ask the Holy Spirit to help us change.