Admit it. We all have things in our characters that we aren’t exactly happy to admit.
Pride, wrong motives, and bad attitudes are just a few that I could mention. As bad as we may know these things are, often times we end up watering them and watching them grow instead of working to destroy them. Letting bad characteristics grow in our lives can easily harm those around us as well as our relationship with the Lord. A simple prayer will never change these things in our lives, but continual prayer and effort will.
My suggestion to you is, make a list! Write down the top 3-5 things in your life that need to change and then pray about them daily. By choosing to focus on, and pray about these issues on a daily basis, it creates a mindset that then acknowledges these problems as they surface throughout the day.
Since I began daily praying that the Lord would help me to have pure motives in everything I do, I have started recognizing wrong motives before they even have a chance to get to work. Making a list has drastically helped me re-focus on the person that I want to be - and more importantly, who the Lord wants me to be.
My daily character prayer list:
Pride is one of the slimiest and most disguised characteristics that there is. It is so good at camouflaging itself that it manages to sneak into every decision and action that a person may ever make without ever being noticed as the base to the problem. I pray against pride in my own life and that the Lord would reveal to me the areas in my life where pride has a strong hold.
Our world is so corrupt and filled with so many different ideas, moral values, and religions, that often times it is a real battle just to be able decipher right from wrong. An issue can be 99% truth, but if there is 1% lie then that bit of deception can corrupt the whole percentage. (Pride often likes to play with our discernment as well) I pray that the Lord will show me if there is even 1% untruth so that I may be more sensitive to finding what is really true.
#3. Pure Motives
This one I already used as my example in Part I (Link here), but motives, like pride, can be very sneaky and go unnoticed. (But then again, most wrong motives are driven by the sneaky pride syndrome) Reading the Bible or praying in public, putting yourself in a place where you will be seen while doing a volunteer cleaning job or project - these things in themselves are not wrong, but they can be to easily be twisted into drawing attention to one’s self.
By daily praying that the Lord would reveal to me my true motives, I can more easily stop wrong motives before they start.
Have you ever heard the saying, “You can be 100% right in a 100% wrong tone of voice”?
There are many times I have caught myself doing this very thing.
It is very easy to correct one another with the wrong tone of voice, where as if you had used the exact same words with a gentle, caring voice, your words may have been accepted instead of causing the person you were talking with to feel as though they must defend themselves.
Attitude is a huge issue and can be displayed in a multitude of ways and be drastically different from one person to the next. (And is almost always driven by pride! - I’m sure you saw that coming.)
I pray daily that the Lord would help me see my attitudes for what they are and that I would portray a right attitude no matter who I am talking to or what the topic matter may be.
#5. Fickle Little Things
It is so easy to get into meaningless little arguments about meaningless little issues that really don’t matter! I despise being accused of things that I did not do, not matter how small they may be.
“Mom! I did NOT leave the dishrag soaking in the dirty dishwater, but I’ve sure seen YOU do it plenty of times!” (This is hurting my pride even to write this… Ouch….)
The most explosive arguments can happen over such trivial things and yet when accused, I always feel as though I must defend myself… and then of course, turn the subject around and lay the blame on someone else. Whether I was to blame or not, the point is, the matter often is frivolous and simply shouldn’t matter.
I pray that the Lord will help me to learn to hold my tongue when accused of something, even if I am innocent. The truth is, I can chose to brush such matters off and let them go, or turn around and say something that could cause such pain to another person that it may harm them for the rest of their life. (Watch your words - they are powerful!)
Now you have read my list. There are many more things in my life that I know need to change, but for now I have chosen to focus on these top five.
It is my hope that you will seek the Lord and ask Him to show you what you need to work on the most in your life. Then, I hope that you will pray daily about each issue, so that you would be aware of each of them as you go about your day. Don’t give up on your list. We all will have things that we will need to work on for the rest of our lives, but daily focus and prayerful persistence will bring about a marvelous change.
What’s on your list today? (Quote stolen from a store slogan - :D )