Character – What is it?
Matthew 7:20 –Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Watch your thoughts, for they become your words. Watch your words, for they become your actions. Watch your actions for they become your habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
Character is the summation of the principles we have on the inside by which we live our lives. It is the mental and moral attributes, be they good or evil, that defines us as individuals. Good character refers to the virtue, the self discipline, and the honourable constitution that an individual possesses. Character is defined as a distinctive quality of person or thing. It also connotes moral strength. It is the peculiar qualities impressed by habit on a person, which distinguishes them from others. A Christian is distinguished from the world by their godly qualities. It is the showing forth of these godly qualities that we call godly character or in some cases, the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Godly character is not automatic; it is built with the help and cooperation of the Holy Spirit working within and through us.
New birth is the foundation; the daily application of God’s Word is the building blocks of a godly character. It takes time and effort for character to be established. As Paul said in Galatians 4:19, ‘My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you’. This implies the formation process of the qualities of Christ in them. Some are of the opinion that when you get saved your character gets saved and your behaviour is overhauled instantly, but that is not the case. At new birth your spirit is transformed instantly but your mind is not changed instantly. And your mind is the seat of your character. Therefore your character is not changed instantly. That is why we need to learn the Word of God and apply it to our thought process and then through that application we build new character and better destiny.
Being born again is not equal to an instant change of character; it is the beginning of the development of a godly character and life. When these characteristics are built they begin to yield results and give us godly influence in our world. 1 Thessalonians 2:10 ‘You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe’. The truth about character building is that it requires a decision of quality, consistency and commitment. The reward of a godly character is both in this world and in the world to come. With a godly character you get the attention of heaven, earth and hell. John 8:29- ‘And He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please Him’. John 14:30 – ‘I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and He has nothing in me’.
Friend, building and keeping a godly character is a lifetime discipline. Remember, champions are not born, they are made daily. Please be aware that the gifts and calling of God are without repentance but godly character is built by decision and taking responsibility.
For Further Study
John 13:35; 1Timothy 4:12
Personal declaration for the day
I will align my thoughts to God’s Word and speak God’s words.
Questions for you to reflect on
What steps are you taking to develop and improve your character?
What aspect of you character makes people question your relationship with God?