We all know some characters, some are good and some are bad. But what does it mean to have good character, and what does character actually mean? One definition of character is the inward motivation to do what is right according to the highest standards of behavior in every situation. Character consists of the consistent and distinctive qualities engrained into an individual’s life, which determine how a person responds, regardless of the circumstances.
The situations that can cause us to be discouraged, angry or sad are actually designed or allowed by God to help us realize our need for Him and His power in our lives. It is only by the power of God that we will be able to achieve the kind of character that God calls us to have.
There is a process by which we can gain this type of character. It first begins with having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and then being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we can skip over that step and think that I can simply become a good person on my own. However, when the trials and problems of life come up it is much more difficult to deal with those things on our own. When we have God with us and in us it gives us a different perspective on how to respond and think about each situation we are in.
As we respond to trials this is the process we should go through:
- Thank God for all things – even trials.
- Rejoice in all things by finding the good things or benefits we can learn from.
- Using the Word of God to help us sift through the situation we find ourselves in. This acts as a reminder of what the truth is and helps us to identify the lies we may be believing.
- Seeking wise Godly counsel.
- Crying out to God when necessary.
- Doing good works for all people – even those that may have hurt us.
If we can respond to life’s trials in this way, we will experience the power of God’s character living in us and shining through us. So no matter what the circumstance or situation our character is always either helping us or hurting us. Our character should be growing and changing as we pursue our relationship with God. The closer we get to Him and the more we allow Him to be in every area of our lives the more we can reflect the character of Jesus Christ to others.
The power for developing character does no come from our own willpower or intellect. It comes from the Holy Spirit of God. Allowing Him to indwell our spirit and fill our soul and control our bodies. The result of having God in our hearts is the fruit of the spirit, which is “love, joy, longsuffering, gentleness, faith, meekness, and temperance.” Galatians 5-22-23
My life Mission Statement is “Growing in Faith, Character and Leadership.” I know that my character is based on my relationship with God and the degree to which I trust Him. God has promised to transform me into the man He created me to be if I stand back and allow Him to do the work. My part is to be obedient and to do what He tells me to do, even if I don’t fully understand it. Character is really about how well we love other people. If we are growing in our character, our love of God and people is growing and therefore our perspective of how we view the world in which we live.