American society has become increasingly less civil. There is a noticeable lack of kindness and respect during normal interactions among people. The evidence is everywhere— while driving, in grocery stores, at work, on social media websites, in the news, etc.
Recently I experienced an episode on the golf course—yes, at a place where golfers are supposedly having fun and doing some socializing at the same time. The guy hit his ball well off the fairway and his ball landed on the tee I was about to hit from. He was clearly the who had goofed. But that’s not the important part. His nastiness when he located his ball was even more out of bounds. Did he apologize? Absolutely not. He behaved as if he owned the whole course and my being there to hit a tee shot was an interruption. He mouthed a final comment as he drove off. Trust me—it took max restraint on my part not to respond in kind.
As the golfer drove away, a thought hit me: “Wonder if he was a Christian?” Further, would he have perhaps realized that I was a Christian?” It’s entirely possible that he is a follower of Jesus and a regular church attender as well. Afterall, I have participated in several golf tournaments sponsored by Christian organizations and the behavior of some hardly reflected a Christ-like disposition. If Jesus was present, He was back at the clubhouse.
How’s your disposition on a day-to-day basis? The answer to his question is more important than we realize, especially for those who don’t know Jesus and look at our lives.
Disposition is an aspect of character, not the only one but an essential trait. Maybe a good way to express it is this: Character is a collection of personality traits within our behavior that reflects who we are. This is seen in our integrity, attitudes, moral fiber, disposition, and how we treat those around us.
Webster’s New World Dictionary defines disposition is as “the predominating bent of one’s mind or spirit”. With Christ living within us, each Christian should increasingly exemplify Jesus’ attitude and disposition.
The Apostle Paul paints a beautiful word picture of Jesus’ disposition:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:3,4-NIV)
These days there’s a lot said about people’s accomplishments, but little attention directed to disposition. From my experience, disposition can more often be revealed by the way we respond to events rather than to those we initiate.
Developing a Christ-like disposition won’t happen without all-out commitment. Why? It’s a lifelong pursuit on a spiritual battlefield. You’ll face fierce opposition from the flesh, the world, and the devil. There are no shortcuts.
From my reading of Scripture, along with personal experience, I’ve discovered there’s no formula for developing a Christ-like disposition. Think of godly men and women you know. As you examine the character of each of these people, there’s no one description that fits all. The inner transformation each experienced was unique to their personality, and background. For certain, each of these individuals remained teachable and moldable in the God’s hands.
Thursday we will walk through some examples of having a "Christ like" disposition.