– George Macdonald
A Life of Integrity
If a man or woman says he or she believes in Christ and lives a life of integrity, his or her faith has borne fruit, as Jesus said, “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles” (Matthew 7:16)? A follower of Christ already knows that “whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out” (Proverbs 10:9). Someone who is not trustworthy needs to inspect their own fruit. Is it grapes or thorns?
A Life of Faithfulness
When I say that faithfulness is evidence for a person’s faith being genuine, I mean that a man and woman will stay faithful to his or her spouse. They don’t flirt with co-workers or surf the Internet and chat with people of the opposite sex. They remain faithful to their spouse. In fact, deacons and pastors must be one-women men (Titus 1:6; 1 Timothy 3:2, 12) or they can’t hold that position.
A Life of Humility
It’s hard to miss people who want all the attention, but I notice those who are humble because they stand out from the crowd. A person who’s humble is showing an attribute of Christ, “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6-7) and “humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).
A Life of Contentment
The Apostle Paul said, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” (Philippians 4:11) because Paul’s contentment didn’t depend on circumstances. How did Paul learn contentment? Lots of practice (stonings, imprisonment, hunger, thirst, whippings, etc.). Paul wrote, “If we have food and clothing, with these we will be content” (1 Timothy 6:8). When a person is satisfied with their life, they are telling God they are satisfied in Him.
When George MacDonald said, “A man’s real belief is that which he lives by,” I believe he was saying that a person’s everyday life should show evidence of their faith. We can’t know a person’s heart, but we can inspect the fruit. Some produce fruit at slower rates, and we must all be patient with one another as others were with us.