Character is described aptly as ‘who you are when no one is looking.’ Christianity is not a self-improvement project; however, change becomes the desire of our heart once we know the King. We represent Christ. In fact, we are being transformed into His image.
Accepting Christ as our Savior, Lord and Master restores us to relationship with God. Understanding our purpose and identity allows us to recognize where we have gone astray from the perfect plans. Once we have relationship & recognition, we ‘repent’–turn from death to life! Now, it is time to assume our responsibility. Knowing what God is like–who we are to look like, helps us as we take responsibility for the things that are ours to do.
Let’s take a look at some important Christian Character attributes. Using a scale of 0-10, consider whether you never (0) exhibit the trait or you consistently (10) demonstrate that trait.
|Loving (accepting & available)|
|Forgiving (not holding grudges)|
|Respectful (honors others and self)|
|Trustworthy (count on their promises)|
|Humble (puts others first)|
|Honest (transparent, truthful)|
|Patient (willing to wait w/o complaint)|
|Peaceful (quiet confidence in good)|
|Joyful/Hopeful (expects good to come)|
|Self-controlled (vs. addiction-controlled)|
Does a lack of any of those traits cause you dismay? There is good news: these are the flavor of a Spirit-filled life. We aren’t called to manufacture those feelings. We don’t get to pick and choose which one we want. They are the essence of Jesus Christ! We are to agree with God on their value–and His power to produce them in our lives. We do not transform ourselves; the Holy Spirit is our power source.
Take time now, to list—in order of priority, the three things from above that you feel God giving you the most desire to have in your life. God uses positive pressure to change us. He gives us sight to see where His life is lacking in our own.
Our history is part of us; it need not define us or limit us. However, when we stuff it away without understanding, negative stuff simmers deep within. Living fully in the freedom of Christ requires bringing even the past into the Light of His love.
As you consider the character traits that trouble you, you may find lingering resentment about negative deposits in your character bank. Forgiveness sets you free…ask the Holy Spirit if there is anything limiting your spiritual fruit. For more insights on Forgiveness, visit this page. If you feel the need for help to grow, consider that developing this flavor in our lives is the goal of Discipleship Coaching.
Growth is a daily, life-long process, enjoy it! As Paul said, “Though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day-by-day.” What joy!