Character – Do we have it? – Do we need it?
Godly character starts with our faith in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. When we put our faith in the Three-in-One, we develop (through everyday life experiences which God orchestrates), traits that together make up our character – obedience, trust, discipline, patience, strength, understanding, wisdom, discernment, compassion and honesty. A person with character in turn exhibits love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Why is it important to understand and develop our own Godly character?
Why is it important to encourage others in the development of their Godly character?
Godly character provides us with a compass for living. It provides us with a means to evaluate life. It provides us with discernment into situations so that we are not misled. In this day and age, Godly character is essential to navigating life.
When we have Godly character, we strive to make each moment holy by doing the next right thing. We strive to follow the Law and the Prophets and the teachings of the New Testament. We strive to do what Jesus taught us: “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31 NIV.
We strive not because it will “earn” us eternal life but because we are indebted to Jesus for what He has already done for us. Jesus already provided the pathway to heaven for us. Our works are a reflection of our great love for Him and our outpouring of love for others – wanting them to also share in the gift of eternal life. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove. James 2:18 The Message
So let us evaluate ourselves . . . Do we need some growth in Godly character? Probably. How do we determine what we need? How do we gauge Godly character?
One way is by determining if we are exercising it during the drudgery of everyday life. Do we exhibit Godly character in everyday situations? Can we respond to those situations as our Savior would? Does love, peace or joy come from our spoken words? Are we patient and kind with our families and co-workers in everyday life? Do we pray without ceasing? Are we on the look out to help others as we go about our day? Do our minds dwell on things of God or things not of God?
Character developed in the drudgery of life prepares us for the crisis we will face. It is in our everyday, day in and day out existence, that God trains us. In a crisis, what is exhibited is what has already been developed in us. It is not developed instantaneously – we rise to the occasion because we have been training for it!
Another gauge – evaluation of our projects and works. Are they disciplined to Christ? See 2 Corinthians 10:1-6. In other words, are we looking to Christ before we start our day or a new project to see where we should start and what we should be doing? Many projects and works are of no consequence because they are not done at the direction or in conformity with Christ. Shouldn’t we be starting our day asking for Jesus to go before us and direct us in His work?
Another gauge – do we worship God everyday, all day, in all kinds of situations and with joy? If we only worship God on Sundays, are we in need of some character building in this department?
These are just a few examples of how we gauge our Godly character. Each of us needs improvement in different ways. This is an on-going life challenge – to continue to develop Godly character until we are fit and ready for eternal living.
As we look to this season in our lives, let us evaluate where we are in the development of our Godly character and work on areas where we discern a deficit. In all probability, we have enough work to do in our own character development that we will not have time to focus on the character development of others.
Just saying . . .