Some Questions For You To Answer

by | Jan 21, 2010 | 34 comments

I am writing from Houston, TX. Had a great couple sessions kicking-off “No Other Gods” at Friendswood Community Church. Tonight we are off to Marquez, TX and then tomorrow morning we are flying to New Orleans for a women’s event a few hours outside of all the beignets and jambalaya. It’s going to be an exciting run.

In the meantime, I have a big favor to ask of anyone who is willing to share her thoughts: I am writing a new book on the classic virtues (godly character traits) in the Bible. I want to come at this from a very here-and-now angle. What I mean by this is: I don’t want to approach things like forgiveness, patience, integrity, etc. from a lofty, textbook approach because we need these things in REAL life, right? I want to really study them for what they are, while also looking at the power that only Jesus can give us to live these guys out.

I am passionate about these character qualities because they have made a huge difference in my life, and yet I feel there is little being said about them collectively right now. So here are my questions for anyone who is gracious enough to share:

1. (This is not an exhaustive list) Out of the following virtues: Forgiveness, kindness, patience, humility, joy, peace, love, integrity, purity, thankfulness, grace, which THREE are the most difficult for you and why?

2. Which TWO would you like to have more of in your life?

3. Out of these eleven, is there a character quality that you’d like to see added to the list?

4. Absolutely ANY other thoughts you have on this subject matter are wholeheartedly welcome. Also, please feel free to pass this blog/questions along to anyone who is willing to share.

Thank you all so much. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

34 Comments

  1. Mp4 Media Players

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  2. Angela Schnippel

    1. I know you asked for 3, but 2 is enough: I struggle with JOY and PEACE (to me, they go hand in hand). I think, if I have Jesus in my life, shouldn't I be FULL of JOY and completely at PEACE? It really holds me back. I don't talk to people about Jesus because I think why would someone want to come to know Jesus when my example of what it is to know Him doesn't show an ultimate outcome of knowing joy and knowing peace. This is so frustrating for me. How do I turn on the JOY? I try to fake it sometimes, thinking somehow over time if I fake it long enough, it will become true. But it's just so ingenuine. One thing I have noticed (perhaps as a generalization): Those people who have gone off track, or who have never been "on track" with Jesus and then turn their lives around – THEY are the ones with JOY and PEACE. But must we hit rock bottom to have these things? I've been a Christian all my life. Had some times where I was distant from God…but always have come back to Him. But never had the kind of JOY that is just bubbling over and spilling out on others around me. That's what I want…but not feeling it. It's not that I'm not Happy that God loves me, or that Jesus died for me…I AM. I REALLY am…I'm so Thankful for that (so I feel like I have the Thankfulness thing down)…but it's the inner joy and inner peace that everyone is supposed to SEE with their eyes and wonder, "What's different about her?". I don't have it. But I want it. ๐Ÿ™‚
    2. … and so I guess that answers question number 2.
    3. Can't think of any.
    4. Wish I had more thoughts but once asked question #1, I got stuck there, and now will probably ponder it for the rest of the day. Hmmm…but wait! Ironically (Divinely?), "Joy to the World" sung by Casting Crowns just started on my iTunes. And I feel…could it be…a tad joyful? ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Dionna

    1. Patience
    2. Forgiveness
    3. Peace

    2. Which TWO would you like to have more of in your life?
    Humility and Patience

    3. Out of these eleven, is there a character quality that you’d like to see added to the list?
    Compassion. Compassion is huge in my heart and life.

    4. Absolutely ANY other thoughts you have on this subject matter are wholeheartedly welcome. Also, please feel free to pass this blog/questions along to anyone who is willing to share.
    I have a section on my website (EmphasisOnMoms.com) that teaches moms how to instill character in their kids. One of the big things for me is to have my writer include tangible ideas of how to do this. I think we are often preached at and people just don't have the tools to get started. They know they should have something but how? What's an example of it being lived out? What's a way they can get that point across to their kids? Tangible ideas.

    I'm new to your blog and to knowing who you are, Kelly. But I'm excited with the ideas you have and the ministry that God will use through you. Thanks for being His vessel!

  4. Amber

    I struggle with love the most – the real love in 1st Cor. 13, (not feeling warm, gooey, feelings). I think all the other ones flow out of that one. A secondary one would be kindness in my thoughts to people who are senselessly rude.

  5. Summertime

    Joy
    Peace
    Grace

    Peace and Joy

    Self-Control!!!!!!

    I have a short-term memory when it comes to these and once learned, it seems like I have to be reminded continually, which frustrates the perfectionist in me!

    Thanks for this blog!

  6. Deb

    1. Patience, Peace, Forgivenes

    2. Patience, Joy

    3. Self-control. I struggle with over-eating

    4. I've often wished that more emphasis was placed on building these traits. Although many are fruits of the spirit, I think that they need to be exercised like muscles to keep them strong. In other words, we should train up our children to use these traits and discipline ourselves to use them as well.

  7. Love2Sing

    1. Kindness, Thankfulness, and Grace because….it's one of those things that's kind of hard to explain. Its just…because.

    2. Joy and Grace

    3. Faithfulness

  8. Debbie

    Hardest are forgiveness, patience, and thankfulness. Forgiveness is just plain old hard sometimes, patience when this world is training us in impatience and thankfulness when there is a lot of turmoil going on in the world right now.
    I would love to have more grace and love in my life.
    I would like to see faith added.
    Thanks!

  9. Melissa

    1. Patience, Integrity, Thankfulness.
    2. Patience & Humility
    3. Self-Control
    4. Looking forward to a study that approaches these traits from a practical standpoint!

  10. Grace

    1. The three I struggle with most are patience, humility, and love. I've come to realize that while I thought I was really good at those, I struggle with them the most with the person I care about the most. I have the hardest time humbling myself with my husband, having patience with my husband, and loving my husband in a Christ-like way, when I'm very patient and humble with people in my family and my career. I tend to argue with him and fight for 'my way' when I've always been a very passive person. He has a hard time seeing love from me because of this, and I just get frustrated with him because I feel like I spend time doing a lot of little things to show him my love.
    2. I would like to have more humility and integrity.
    3. Spiritual strength (strong in the faith, unwaivering)

  11. Rhonda

    1. patience (the real thing…not just resignation to the situation); peace, it's tough some days to be content!; love, i've always struggled with this!
    2. peace and love
    3. I think the 11 are tough enough! : )
    4. I think that part of the reason I struggle is because I base my ideas on a world-view definition rather than a Biblical one.

    Our Sunday school group of ladies will be doing the "No Other Gods" study, we start this Sunday! Really looking forward to it!

  12. Kelly

    Hey Everyone. Thank you so much for these extremely helpful comments. Each one helps me thing through this topic in new ways. I appreciate the time it is taking you to post comments. Keep them coming!

  13. Keri

    1. I found it interesting how much I didn't want to be honest with this one……would that mean integrity needs to be one of my three?? Anyways, I would have to say Peace in a way that defines contentment. Grace in the way that counteracts judgement. The third one was hard, but I'd have to say humility. I think overall I am a pretty humble person, but I find that in my head I can start down a path of pridefulness and I have NO reason to. I absolutely admire well known people who have a great handle on pride.

    2. Only two out of the three?? I would have to say Humility and Peace

    3. Perseverance. The ability to stick to something which I guess would also be defined at discipline.

    I am very intrigued to know what you are doing with this. Our next C3 (my last before the move) is in April and I was thinking about doing something very similar to this. Hmmmmm…….

  14. JoAnn

    1. I struggle most with forgiving others, loving them as God loves them, and giving grace to others. I am trying more to see other people as God sees them.
    2. I would like to have more humility and peace in my life.
    3. I would like to see self control added to the list, as this is a real toughie for most people, including me.

    Sorry I missed you in Houston. Hopefully I can make it to another event when you are here.

  15. Anita

    1. (This is not an exhaustive list) Out of the following virtues: Forgiveness, kindness, patience, humility, joy, peace, love, integrity, purity, thankfulness, grace, which THREE are the most difficult for you and why?

    The most difficult for me is patience, humility and forgiveness.

    2. Which TWO would you like to have more of in your life? Love and grace

    3. Out of these eleven, is there a character quality that you’d like to see added to the list? Trust in God

    4. Absolutely ANY other thoughts you have on this subject matter are wholeheartedly welcome. Also, please feel free to pass this blog/questions along to anyone who is willing to share.

  16. C Kay S

    1. I struggle most with forgiveness, patience and joy
    2. The two I would most like to have are forgiveness and grace. Both of these qualities are so like Christ and that is what I want to be.
    3. Self-control needs to be added to the list. Seems like today, there are no boundaries from self-discipline, food, pleasure, sex, drugs, money…..you name it!
    4. I feel like the more surrendered we are to Christ and letting Him live His life in and through us and our personality, the less struggle we will have with particular character issues. What comes through us will be the character of Christ………oh to be like HIM!

  17. Anonymous

    This is so timely for me right now. I am struggling with a situation with my oldest daughter. She is in rebellion and has been for a while. She just had her second baby with a different man than the one she is married to. I struggle with my role in the whole situation. As a mother and grandmother, I love each of these people but I am tired of loving/blessing her while she continues to live in sin (which she has been raised to know is sin). How does a person balance love and righteousness? How can I show her love without condoning the sin she is currently engaging in. She is living with her new boyfriend (father of her most recent child) while still married to her husband (father of her first child) and has no intentions of doing anything different. It's hard for me to bless her while she is so defiant. I'm trying to walk the line of speaking the truth in love. I struggle most with love, forgiveness and patience. I, like the previous writer, would like to see self-control and righteousness added to the list. What is the difference between loving a person (and accepting/condoning their sin) and loving a person without blessing them? Hope that makes sense!

  18. Shannon B.

    patience, humility, peace ~ I am slightly less than willing to release control of well, anything. And loss of control is what is needed for these three things the most.

    2. I think I have plenty of each when I don't need them. It is only when I am in the situation that I discover that the one I need is the one that I am short of. Does that make sense? It did in my head anyway.

    3. since I dislike telling myself no, I think self control would be a big one for me.

    4. Since I struggle with all of the above (see above #2) I think the best thing would be practical application on how to find the lesson, take the discipline and then move on, not allowing the lack or loss of virtue in each situation to become a stone wall in our faith or our witness or testimony.

  19. kelmint

    Shannon, Thanks so much for this response. I would like to quote you: I think I have plenty of each when I don't need them. It is only when I am in the situation that I discover that the one I need is the one that I am short of.

    I would not mention your name but would love your permission for this. You can email me at [email protected] if this is okay with you. Thanks so much! – Kelly

  20. Amy

    1. (This is not an exhaustive list) Out of the following virtues: Forgiveness, kindness, patience, humility, joy, peace, love, integrity, purity, thankfulness, grace, which THREE are the most difficult for you and why?
    The three most difficult for me are 1. Forgiveness because I don't want to be hurt some more if I forgive the person or their actions. 2. Patience because I don’t have a high tolerance for immaturity. I like to have fun and laugh, but I tend to be more serious and when it’s time to be serious, then let’s get serious. 3. Love because I don’t think I demonstrate it the way Jesus lived it.
    2. Which TWO would you like to have more of in your life?
    I would like to have more peace in this uncertain and very shaky world and joy in the midst of heartache, pain and tragedy. I believe that deep abiding joy resides when we are aware of our future hope with God and our eternal home.
    3. Out of these eleven, is there a character quality that you’d like to see added to the list?
    Like someone mentioned above, I’d like to have trust added. I think that’s one that we could all use more of and the world doesn’t give us much opportunity for it.
    4. Absolutely ANY other thoughts you have on this subject matter are wholeheartedly welcome. Also, please feel free to pass this blog/questions along to anyone who is willing to share.
    I’m looking forward to what you have in store for this research. I remember doing a study on the fruits of the Spirit and how to live those practically and this would be a great study to follow that up. I think there are so many areas of our lives that need to be strengthened with God’s practical and active word and when we study His word we can draw from His well of living hope. He doesn’t leave us without the guidebook, we have to be willing to read it, apply it and live it. Thank you for all the hard work you do to help people apply God’s word!

  21. Wendy

    Only pick 3? That's tough. I'm feeling a little "direct" today. I hope my straight fowardness is not offensive.

    1. Forgiveness ~ I find it very hard to generate forgiveness for anyone who has wronged me yet doesn't care, doesn't realize they have wronged me, doesn't want to (or refuses to) apologize, or the "wronging" is ongoing. Instead of forgiving, I would much rather write them off and just not care about them or what happens to them. Indifference, I think, is the word. And I KNOW this is a harsh, horrible, ungodly attitude to have.

    2. Purity ~ I'm not pure. It's that simple. I'm not and I never will be.

    3. Grace ~ Accepting God's grace is very difficult for me as I know what the inside of my heart looks like (I know He knows too). I know what my heart, mind, lips, tongue, hands and flesh are capable of doing on their own accord. I don't deserve His Grace and I never will deserve it. Not on my own. I am so very thankful He just gives it! Despite me He just gives it!

    • kelmint

      Wendy, thanks for the forwardness. I'm hoping that women who are feeling exactly like you do will benefit from these writings. I'm hitting God's grace for us before even getting to anything else. Thanks for your comment.

  22. Wendy

    (of course I'm too long winded)

    4. If I may, Mercy ~ For over 17 years I have worked within the criminal justice system, as part if the prosecution team. My role is to provide assistance to anyone who has been the victim of a violent crime (child physical and sexual abuse victims, rape/sexual assault victims, people who have been shot, stabbed, robbed and the families of people who have been murdered). For years my exposure and attitude has been "prosecute the offender/defendant". No mercy in my heart for defendants whatsoever. That indifference thing popping up again. I never understood how utterly wrong my attitude is until I studied the Book of Luke and realized this was the attitude of the Pharisees and that God despised their attitude. I try to be more conscious, now, and while I certainly do not condone the criminal behavior, I try to understand or at the very least acknowledge something took place, or didn't take place, to make the person turn out that way. It is a constant struggle for me as it is very easy to slip back into my worldly way of perceiving these fallen, lost souls who are just as precious to Jesus as I am.

  23. Michelle

    Humility, patience and kindness would be the three that I would highlight as the most difficult for me. When I consider this, I see how they go hand in hand when dealing with others. I can easily think too highly of myself and then get impatient with people and treat them unkindly. Not in a really rude obnoxious way, but just acting like I have things all figured out and my way has to be the right way through my attitude or speech. If I could always think of others first and more highly than myself, I would react differently and treat them with so much more kindness. I must always remember how patient God has been with me and offer that same patience to others.

    One quality that I think is so important too is teachability. I want to be teachable in all sorts of areas. Mostly, when it comes to being conformed to the image of Christ. Humbling myself and being teachable. Its a really good thing.
    Thank you for allowing God to use you Kelly! I love your NOG study. You are a gifted writer and God is speaking through it all. I am doing it with college women in my home. Just about to start Ruth with another group of women too. SO excited!!!

  24. Michelle

    Humility, patience and kindness would be the three that I would highlight as the most difficult for me. When I consider this, I see how they go hand in hand when dealing with others. I can easily think too highly of myself and then get impatient with people and treat them unkindly. Not in a really rude obnoxious way, but just acting like I have things all figured out and my way has to be the right way through my attitude or speech. If I could always think of others first and more highly than myself, I would react differently and treat them with so much more kindness. I must always remember how patient God has been with me and offer that same patience to others.

    One quality that I think is so important too is teachability. I want to be teachable in all sorts of areas. Mostly, when it comes to being conformed to the image of Christ. Humbling myself and being teachable. Its a really good thing.
    Thank you for allowing God to use you Kelly! I love your NOG study. You are a gifted writer and God is speaking through it all. I am doing it with college women in my home. Just about to start Ruth with another group of women too. SO excited!!!

  25. beth

    keep up the good wrk

  26. Andrea-don W Griffin

    Kelly, it is so inspiring to see your voice shining through since the days at Word Records and that lovely Jeep Cherokee. Is she still raring down the road? Well, my Betsy (old 4-Runner) is long gone. I miss it some days at it is a symbol of my past independence. However, I wouldn't trade my husband and our children for anything. In fact, I can't answer your questions without giving them credit, because if it weren't for them, I may not have every seen my ugly reflection: a picture that was vacant of grace, forgiveness and humility. My husband always tells me I'm so patient with our middle child (the first that I actually bore) and yet I also realized, during the day, my strong voice and my gestures displayed anything but patience after the birth of Stone.
    Continued in next msg….

  27. Andrea don W Grifin

    This year in particular as I directed our church's trunk or treat for the 2nd year, I realized the standards that I held other people to. I found myself weary of giving because I wasn't trusting God to actually be in control. I was always trying to keep everything together for everyone and that bled over into my spiritual perspective. So, when things were out of my control (aka working with others) I discovered that I allowed little grace and yet wanted it when I was running late… as though my excuse was better than their's…. And that's when I realized I was suffering from a loss of humility. My pride propelled me into having to be at least somewhat right.
    Cont on next msg….

  28. Andrea-don Griffin

    Then I realized through the love of my step-son….(he is so loving), that I would hold a grudge very easily against him in instances of dishonesty. The Holy Spirit calls him to tears whenever he departs from the Lord's will in such a precious way. I use to get so tired of his tears. But then I realized, he needs extra love, he needs a little extra kindness… he is living two seperate lives, in two seperate homes every week, 49% here and 51% there. Crazy. I wish I could pick just 2 that I would desire, but I want them all. What is so cool though, is that greater love, seems to cover them all. If you truly love more, you forgive more, you humble yourself, you forgive more easily and give grace without thinking because it's NOT ABOUT YOURSELF! You are such a blessing. I still listen to all the songs from that 1st CD you made (I was Elisa's asst). If you see Linda or Pam or any of the old gang, send them so high-fives. Thank you for reminding us… "the word never returns to us VOID"… it is vibrant, real and healing to our broken souls! God bless!

  29. 70 times 7

    1) purity, love, grace – I was introduced to sex at an early age – is that why I struggle with impure thoughts? Do I really love the unlovely or just when it benefits me most? 2) thankfulness, grace – In a society of health and wealth, we take so much for granted. Even our government encourages to take instead of being grateful for what we have. So, I have and I'm grateful for it, but do I go on and grace others with my abundance?
    3) sincerity (that's probably part of integrity)
    4) I want to share how God taught me how to forgive, but is too lengthy to share here. So maybe later somewhere else on this site.

  30. Susanna

    1. Patience, Peace, Love (self-love)
    2. Love and Grace
    3. I think most things are encompassed under the 11
    4. I think as women at some point in our lives one of the virtues is hard for us. I know for me even though I am still young my struggle has changed but I have come to appreciate each virtue even more because of that stage in my life.

  31. Hope

    Humility, Joy and Peace are my most difficult. I have found as I really 'hear' what I am thinking that I struggle with my pride (can't I just fix everyone??) which I think leads to a lack of joy AND peace. Only by His grace am I able to at times get a taste of these virtues but boy do I want more of them.

    I would love to have more joy and peace in my life.

    Not sure if this is a character quality but I would love to learn more about being courageous and confident. Standing firm on what I believe and living it out takes a lot of courage. And I could use more of that for sure!

    I just passed your post along to the ladies in my Bible study group. We are currently studying your RUTH study. Thank you for all of your work on your books. They have been very encouraging and convicting to me.

    Blessings,
    Hope

  32. melissa mahanes

    1.I would say that forgiveness, patience and peace are the most difficult for me. Forgiveness because when I am feeling hurt it is hard for me to let go of it and truly forgive the person who has wronged me. I might say I forgive them because I know that it is the right thing to do, but deep down inside I am still harboring resentments. As soon as they do something else that upsets me (which they are bound to do!) all the past hurt comes back out.

  33. melissa mahanes

    1. (Cont..)Patience is also a hard one for me because I have grown so accustomed to having everything "on demand" and at my fingertips! I didn't even realize how much I struggled with this until my son was born in 08 and he had a lot of trouble sleeping through the night and still does from time to time. I would get so frustrated because I would spend 30 minutes getting him to sleep only to have him pop back up again minutes later! I struggled for awhile and then realized the real problem was my lack of patience!
    My deficancy of peace probably stems from my struggle to truly forgive and my lack of patience as well as some fears and anxieties that I have.

    2.I would like to see more peace in my life because then I think I would act more like Christ especially during trying times and with difficult people.

    Thanks! I am going through your Ruth study with an awesome group of ladies! Iam learning so much!

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