A simple search on the internet will reveal lists of specific character qualities that should be evident in the life of a Christian based on scripture. Here are just a few of them: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, forgiving, fairness, humility, courage, friendship, honesty, dependable, gratitude, content, generous, confident, encouraging, attentive, compassionate, diligent, obedient, hospitable, enduring.
What prevents us from living a life of as “Man of God” in which we display a strong measure of the qualities listed above? I myself am a very selfish man. My relationship with God is is very often primarily concerned with matters specific to myself, wife, and kids. Honestly, it often seems as if I’m not very concerned with those outside of my closest circles when it comes to their need to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This is a hard conclusion for me to come to, it is a recent conviction of my heart. I may have thought, acted, sang songs with lyrics indicating I sincerely did care… My actions however prove that I do not. When is the last time I’ve help lead someone to the savior! When is the last time you did?
Christ-like character is the ultimate goal of all Christian education. To settle for anything less is to miss the point of spiritual growth. We are to “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13-15)
Developing the character of Christ is life’s most important task because it is the only thing we’ll take with us into eternity. Jesus made it quite clear in his Sermon on the Mount that eternal rewards in Heaven will be based on the character we develop and demonstrate here on Earth. Character is never built in a classroom. Character is built in the circumstances of life. God builds character in our lives by allowing us to experience situations where we are tempted to do the exact opposite of the character quality. Character development always involves a choice. When we make the right choice, our character grows more like Christ.
If you want to know what Christ-like character looks like, a good place to start is the list of nine character qualities Paul enumerates in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” The fruit of the Spirit is a perfect picture of Christ. He embodied all nine qualities. If you’re going to develop Christ-like character, you, too, must have these qualities in your life. Whenever we choose to respond to a situation in God’s way instead of following our natural inclination, we develop character. It is because of this that God will allow all kinds of character-building circumstances into our lives such as: conflict, disappointment, difficulty, temptation, times of dryness, and delays.
Men, may we not be self-centered… but Christ-centered. May we make decision not based on what we desire or selfishly need, but rather on what those around us need. Do you have a wife? If so, be the godly man and leader she deserves. Children? Raise them in God’s statutes and wisdom. Our wrong decisions have consequences, not only in our own lives but on the lives of those we love. As men we will see the fruit of our own actions in the lives of our wife and children. May the fruit be pure and sweet. Blessed is best!!
Shared by Chad Hellenthal