Do You Know the 3 R’s of Character Formation?

The car in front darts into your lane, you spit out ‘fuddle duddle’ or something like that. The boss says he wants to see you after lunch, your stomach flips, folds and fixes itself into a knot. The deal sounds too good to be true, maybe even to be legal, but you shut-up those thoughts with the maxim ‘God helps those who help themselves’.

Life happens and we react.  Passions, fears, selfishness too often fuel our choices. The immediacy of the moment dominates us, deceiving us into thinking that whatever makes it better, easier, or cheaper is the thing to do. Now, we’re not claiming this is how Jesus would respond, but our reactions are what come to mind in the hurry of life.

How can we move from reacting to responding like the Messiah? Answer: offline reflection. The flow of full-on life is too frenetic for us to be reflective, we are too busy paddling and bailing.

We need offline time. We need more margin. We need space to breathe, to think, to remember, to discover. We need time to hear from God, to recognize what God has been doing in our lives, to sense where he is directing, correcting and equipping us. Offline time gives an opportunity for our roots to go deeper into Christ. His love and life they nurture us. We begin to feel, think and choose as he would, if he were us.

Offline reflection changes us. Our character increasingly manifests the love of God, the mind of Christ, and the strength of the Spirit. Back in the full-on flow of life we still must paddle and even bail, but our reactions are different because our hearts are different.

What do you do to create offline reflection in the presence of God?

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