Pattern of Behavior

How do we know who we actually are?  How do we know what our soul is like?  If salvation is the renovation of our soul, it would be a good idea to know what sort of renovation is necessary.  As a general rule, we do not start the renovation of a house or office without some idea of the nature of the work that is required so why would we start an even greater task without some knowledge of what our soul is like?

One way to know what our soul is like is to determine our pattern of behavior.  Our pattern of behavior is how we typically act or react given a particular situation.  For example, if someone treats us badly, do we retaliate and treat them badly?  Or do we, as the Tao Te Ching suggests, treat with goodness both those who are bad and good because the nature of our being is good? [1]

Jesus gives us an example from the material world of what our pattern of behavior is:

For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.  The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:44-45) ESV

Knowing our pattern of behavior is critical because God says that is how he will judge us.  Ezekiel 33:13-16 states that if a righteous person turns to injustice, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered and he will be judged by the injustice that he does.  If a wicked person turns to what is just and right, none of his wicked deeds will be remembered and he will be judged by his just and righteous deeds.

Our actions are the result of who we are.  By looking at our pattern of behavior, we can see who we really are.  And should not that provide some motivation for change, to begin the renovation our soul?


[1]   Jonathan Star, translator, Tao Te Ching (New York:  Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2001), p. 62.

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