Character

The dictionary defines character as the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.  Another use is a person in a novel, play, or movie.  Synonyms include personality, nature, disposition, temperament, etc. So we understand that the word character can mean different concepts of human behavior.  Actors pretend to be the character in their part of the performance.  They can portray a completely different character than that of their own.  .

My parents grew up in with the influence of Christianity, but it was more of a religious nature rather than a personal one with Christ.  After I found that the God that loved the world, loves me personally, I accepted the greatest gift ever given.  As I began my new life in Christ I wanted my parents to experience what I had.  Of course, they were resistant because they were still relying on their religious experience from years before. They had not embraced the fullness of what God gave through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.  In fact, my Dad used the excuse that why would he go to a church that was full of hypocrites.  What my Dad didn’t understand was that they wouldn’t be hypocrites unless they were attending church pretending to be something they weren’t.  Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hypocrite as a person who claims or pretends to have certain beliefs about what is right but who behaves in a way that disagrees that belief. 

Ouch! Who among us can claim that we have never behaved in a manner contrary to what we believe to be right or true according to the faith we have ascribed to?  We all fall short of The Glory of God.  But we can’t continue to claim that we are only human for our downfall.   I recently read that we don’t sin (fall short, miss the mark) because we are human, but sin compromises our humanity.  God created us human and said what He created was good.

So what does this bring us to?  How is the character of a believer supposed to be expressed? Paul says in Romans that we are to put on Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts. What should the character of a believer be like? I believe it is described in Galatians Chapter 5 as the fruit of the Spirit. . . .love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  If we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within us, then putting on Christ would result in the fruit of the Spirit being expressed in our outward behavior.

Here are just a few favorite quotes on character.

Reputation is what men think of us; character is what God and the angels know of us. Character is much easier kept than recovered.  Thomas Paine.

Crisis reveals character.  Oswald Chambers

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.  Abraham Lincoln

~~~~From myHeartto yours~~~~Andrea