Often in the work place you have to deal with power politics and passive-aggressive colleagues or customers who undermine, backstab, gossip and bully. People might besmirch you to the boss; demean you accusingly by the tone of their voice; reprimand you over trivial and petty things, just so they can feel powerful and in control, and or advance themselves in the workplace—not to mention other emotionally abusive behaviours.
These people are everywhere, and the older one is the more one understands why we need heaven—and we see why humanity is separated from God. Petty tyrants aren’t just in politics; they are in the office too. In heaven, unchanged and unchanging sinners will be conspicuously absent.
Children of God are infused with His Spirit and, when you are saved, you begin the process of transformation, but it doesn't happen overnight. Some Christians still behave worse than unbelievers, and some unbelievers have more integrity. But, Christians who are really saved and stay the course will be transformed more every day into the sort of person Jesus is: patient, kind, courageous, gentle, honest, faithful and loving.
When you die you can't take your possessions with you, but you will take your character. The often-difficult life here is our opportunity to mature and grow in character. Adversity and difficulty should be seen as challenges to our character and fortitude. We should see a trophy waiting for us at the end of it all, for those who patiently and blamelessly endure. We need to understand that a life of ease doesn't produce the character God wants in us, which is why He allows evil for a time. But, even the evil one has his day of reckoning.
Adversity and conflict, which besets the blameless person, is also an opportunity to discover what we are made of. Many characteristics are only tested in the furnace of trial and adversity: you can't learn patience unless you have to suffer and tolerate some vice that normally requires it—whatever induces an irate and short temper. You can't demonstrate courage until a situation arises that requires it—where there was equal opportunity to display cowardice. These opportunities might not be so abundant in heaven, because sin will not be there.
Conflict and adversity reveal who we are and the substance of our character. In heaven we will probably remember every situation in this life which tested our character, and hopefully improved it. We will cherish important moments that formed our strengths, revealed our weaknesses, and exposed the will to become godlier. But, we will also notice that without Christ in us, we would be blind to the real substance of virtue and godliness: the Holy Spirit abiding in us. Those who reject God cannot understand Him, nor apprehend the meaning of holiness and purity, because they have not encountered Him.
The biggest moral failure is rejecting the light that came into this world to expose our sin, and redeem us from it: Jesus Christ. Hear the truth; you are accountable for it. Life is short and perilous. Repent and believe in Him.
Amos is an evangelical conservative who considers himself a defender of traditional Christian values, liberal democracy and the unprecedented freedom and liberty established and defended by our forebears—which is being eroded.
Amos Sale previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/amos-sale.html