In my last post (way too long ago) I talked about how the Gospel must be central in our desire to be a life-giver. The death, burial, and resurrection of the Son of God on our behalf is the central truth guiding our lives. It is only when we see ourselves in light of the atoning work of the Savior on our behalf that we can even begin to be life-givers. He was already the life-giver for us, and he did it perfectly. Whenever I am thinking about areas of needed growth in my life the temptation is always to resort to lists. And even when I think about being a life-giver I find myself thinking of a list of behaviors and actions that if I just could get “under control” I would be so much better off spiritually. But, being a life-giver is not about lists, because I will fail every time. Christ is the perfect One, and it is through resting in him and trusting in his righteousness that we are given grace to give life to others. In thinking about what it means to be a life-giver, three things came to mind: a life-giver is humble, a life-giver is kind, and a life-giver is a hard worker. Now, certainly this is not an exhaustive list. But, it is a list that has been helpful to me as I have thought through the implications of life-giving in my own life.
As our lives are transformed by the Gospel we should be growing in humility. A humble woman is able to be a life-giver because she sees herself in light of the Gospel. The Gospel exposes who we really are, fallen sinners deserving of wrath, and then through repentance and faith in Christ changes us and makes us clean. This should make us fall on our faces in worship and humility because we know that we deserve so much more than what we have been so freely given by the Savior. Humility is not a self-deprecating attitude that constantly points out flaws and inadequacies. Rather, humility is seen in a woman who points attention away from herself and towards the risen Lamb.
In addition to humility, as we grow in sanctification, we should be growing in kindness towards people. A life-giver sees people as created in the image of God, and in the spirit of her Savior seeks to treat them in light of that reality. Compassion is a characteristic of the redeemed woman. We are compassionate and kind because the Creator of the universe has bestowed his kindness on us. So often I find myself answering people with frustration and annoyance forgetting that a gentle answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1). Not to mention the fact that if I was living in the knowledge of the Gospel I would remember that God does not answer me anywhere close to the measure of wrath that I deserve. In Titus 2 we are shown that the older women are to teach many things to the younger women in their congregations, and one of these things is kindness. The more we grow in Christ-likeness the more we should become like him in kindness. (For more on kindness, I would recommend Carolyn Mahaney’s message on being kind from her Titus 2 Series: http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/).
The Proverbs 31 is the famous “go-to” passage on biblical womanhood. Often the Proverbs 31 woman is seen only in specific characteristics, and therefore we are left with a prototype for the godly woman that sometimes is missing important truths. Not only is the Proverbs 31 woman (and Titus 2 woman for that matter) kind and gentle, but she is also a diligent worker. Part of being a life-giver is working hard in whatever circumstance God has placed you in, because ultimately we are working for the Lord. If you are single it might mean that your life-giving is seen primarily within the local church and your work place. If you are a mother with small children your life-giving will look very different. In whatever circumstance, the godly woman is not lazy. She works hard to give life to those around her.
I started with humility because only when we recognize our fallen state will we be able to be kind and hard working. All of these actions, or works, are an outpouring of the grace that has been poured out on us because of the atoning work of Christ on our behalf. Each of these characteristics have practical implications for our lives and in my next post I will share how these can be played out in our everyday lives.
PS: I don’t even know if there are any readers out there, but for those of you reading, I am going to work really hard to follow-up more expediently with my next post!