The word character is found only a few times in the Bible, a key verse speaking of it is Romans Rom 5:3-5 “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” These few verses point out the very unique relationship between tribulations, perseverance and character.
The assumption of this passage is that the person being persecuted would endure, faithfully, and not deny their faith in Jesus. Enduring/persevering is something we do. Character is not something we do, character is who we are. The reality is that those who persevere trails are those with character. In other words our response to what is happening around us is the only evidence of our character.
Character is doing what is right because it’s right. Not right because I feel it’s right for me, but because the standard that God has set is what is right. Character requires a willingness to and ability to obey.
I have never met anyone who is against character. No one has ever said to me, “what we really need in our society is a little less character.” We are all for character, it just that often we are not for going through all that it takes to prove our character, not willing to make it a priority. This is a matter of submitting to God and His principles and committing to obeying.
As I drive through my community, it is amazing to me how many places there are that we can go to improve our looks, out-ward appearances and character. There are so few places geared toward developing character. The church is one of the few places that would still be listed as one of those places.
Let this coming year, 2012, be a year for being committed to character development. Without a plan for character development we will eventually fall in line with the masses. Start by prayerfully listing out several things that you would like to be known for. Imagine that your spouse, friends or children are speaking at your memorial; what would you want them to say about you? Once you have your list, look for practical ways to develop those traits in your life this coming year.
Character is what a man is in the dark. -D. L. Moody
The God-given capacity to lead has two parts: giftedness and character. Integrity is the heart of character. -Dr. J. Robert Clinton