• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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The Process of Developing Godly Character

Godly CharacterBetter is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways. (Proverbs 28:6 ESV)

According to James L. Christensen, “The purpose of Christianity is not to avoid difficulty, but to produce a character adequate to meet it when it comes. It does not make life easy; rather it tries to make us great enough for life.” In addition to the work of the Holy Spirit, I think the development of godly character is closely tied to reading God’s Word in order to know God’s Will. The righteous man knows that, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness …” (2 Timothy 3:16 ESV)

Proverbs 11:3 tells us that, “The integrity of the upright guides them …” Character is the result of a mature moral compass that guides how we think and act. Concern for the integrity of that compass is an important attribute of character. The psalmist expresses this when he prays, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (139:23-24)

Our God is not impressed by our going through the motions of righteousness. He has unlimited insight into the real quality of our character. Who has not been disappointed with someone when it is discovered that he has real issues with integrity? Think how disappointed God must be when we fail to live with Christ-like character. Most of us fail to understand that God does not rush in to change our conditions when there is a much more serious problem – our character. We may struggle with the problems of this world, but God is preparing us for the world to come.

God will bring us through difficult circumstances, but it is often by walking through the fire of troublesome situations that we develop godly character. Character lessons are often best learned through experience. Our trust and confidence that God will bring us through hard times will deepen our relationship with Him. Paul writes, “…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope …” (Romans 5:3-4 ESV)

In summary, a Christian character is living with Christ-like behavior. Our Christian character is to be the catalyst from which all our actions come. In facing life’s problems, a Biblical character is the proof that we have a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Consider this: Are you a window through which other people can see Christ? You must pray for this to be a consistent quality in your life.

Samuel at Gilgal

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