• 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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  • March 2023
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How Do You Develop Godly Character?

The descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of t...

Descent of the Holy Spirit

As I pointed out in my earlier article on “Success,” God is very concerned about your character development as a Christian.  James L. Christensen wrote, “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.”  I can think of nothing more important in the development of character than the exposure to and reading of God’s word in order to find God’s Will.

Proverbs 11:3 tells us that, “The integrity of the upright guides them. . . .” Character is the result of a moral compass that determines how we think and act.  Intentional concern for the condition of that compass is also an important quality 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)

God is not impressed by our reputations.  He has unlimited insight into the real quality of our character.  Have you ever been disappointed in the process of getting to know someone only to find they have real issues with integrity?  Think how disappointed God must be in His children, who are saved by grace, when they fail to repent and call on the power of the Holy Spirit to help them deal with character issues.  Too few of us understand, as did Teddy Roosevelt, that – “Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.”

If we choose to develop personal godly character traits and wish to leave behind us a generation of godly children, who grow into men and women with the character traits we most desire, then we must certainly teach these traits to our children by lesson and example.  The Bible instructs us, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)  If you want to teach godly character, it is important to have it around the home.

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