What does it mean to shape up?
Merriam-Webster gives us two definitions.
1. We can work to improve ourselves. Study, exercise, even immerse ourselves in the rules of etiquette and propriety that surround us. We learn to become what people expect of us.
2. We can do the same to things or people around us. Paint our house, encourage our children in school, or invite people to church. We want others to become what we expect of them.
When we turn shape up into a noun, it gets a hyphen and takes on a whole new concept.
A shape-up means to hire people for a day’s work.
Are we shaping up to God’s standard?
Are we lined up, ready to do his work, impatiently waiting for God’s instruction for the next great thing we get to do for him?
Colossians 3:8 says this is our chance to get rid of the wickedness of our youth.
“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.”
Proverbs 27:4 tells us envy is to be tossed by the wayside.
“Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?”
Romans 12:19-21 says to jump into good if we want to defeat evil.
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Ephesians 4:31-32 assures us our job is kindness. It’s forgiveness that gets God’s job completed.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Our shape-up requires us to shape up. To do today’s job for God, we must improve ourselves until we meet his expectations. Only then can we stand tall as the workers God needs us to be.
Our reflection of Jesus is our qualification for God’s employ.
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