“No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8
How do you define character? A person with “good character” acts, thinks, and feels in a way that matches some commonly accepted “good” traits, like being honest, respectful, responsible, caring, fair.
The truest manifestation of our character is what we do with the mundane, the every day. Character is walking in integrity, not while being watched, but when in our own space, when no one of apparent authority is present. True character is acknowledging and living in a way that is pleasing to God, not just every once in a while, but at all times and not just when it makes us look good.
God absolutely cares about character, so much so that it could be said that the Bible is a character textbook. It is filled with instructions on what it means to live righteously, that is, in a “godly” and upright manner. The Bible is also filled with stories of men and women who have done it right, and many who have not. These are for our learning so we can benefit from the examples of others.
In Matthew Chapter 6, Jesus talks about the Pharisees. The Pharisees were the law keepers and “religious” leaders in that culture. They were all about being seen. They were all about making an impression. They loved the limelight. Giving to the poor, giving their offerings, saying their prayers, and fasting so everyone around them could see it. They wanted the attention solely on them. They even brought with them men who would blow a horn to announce what they were doing. They wanted to be seen and noticed—and Jesus called them out for it. Obviously, that is not what God expects, so what does God require of us?
Micah 6:8 gives us the answer: “do what is right…to love mercy…and to walk humbly with your God.” That’s it in a nutshell. God is more concerned about our character and conduct. Our ‘”character’” defines who we are and our ‘”conduct” defines what we do. God is not waiting to hear us blow our own horn—He sees everything in secret. He simply wants us to do what is right, love mercy and walk humbly with Him. He will take care of everything else.
Does all this sound nearly impossible? These three things all involve action. The good news is that God enables us to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with Him. When we are in a personal relationship with God, He helps us, empowers us, and leads us. We need to remember that God’s character is always right, always fair, and always kind.
What does the Lord require? He wants us to express those qualities in our lives to those around us. In this way, we can point others towards God.
- Do you ever think about what God requires of you?
- What can we do this week to tactically do what is right, love mercy and walk humbly with our God?