The world understands that character is important. One secular business writer said…
Again, the world understands that character is important. But, as Christians, do we? Do we know why it is important?
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 2 Peter 1:5
The Bible does not use the word, “character.” Instead it uses the word, “virtue,” which simply means, “excellence of character!” That word is used in 2 Peter 1:3…
“According as [God’s] divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him (Christ) that hath called us to glory and virtue:”
We have been “called” to have and develop excellence of character! God expects us – as Christians – to have good character!
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
What is “Character?”
- Character is defined as “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.”
- Some have said, “Your reputation is what others thing of you; your character is what you really are.”
- Our character is who we really are even when no one is looking.
Having “good character” means doing what is right because it is the right thing to do.
There are many examples of individuals, in the Bible, who had good character. Two that come to mind are Joseph and Daniel – both who were young men in some very difficult circumstances and yet they both did right because it was the right thing to do!
“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” Daniel 1:8
Your character is the most precious possession you have next to your salvation.
“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” Proverbs 22:1
God understands that your reputation – what others think of you – and your character – what God knows you to be – are indelibly connected.
“Reputation is the shadow; Character is the tree.” – Abraham Lincoln
“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. When character is lost, all is lost!” – Anonymous
Why is character so important?
Our character is what determines how we respond to the situations and circumstances of life. In Acts 16:19-25, Paul and Silas find themselves being beaten and thrown into prison for simply preaching the Gospel and seeing a young lady come to the Lord. Unfair? You better believe it! How did they respond?
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. Acts 16:25
Our character will determine our usefulness to the Lord now and later in life.
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet [ready to be used] for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:20-22
I don’t believe any would argue the fact that Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of our country was a great man. In 1787, He was instrumental in the formation of our country’s constitution, one of the greatest documents ever put to paper. How did Benjamin Franklin’s “greatness” begin? In 1726, at the age of 20, Benjamin Franklin created a system to develop his character. He identified 13 characteristics that he systematically developed in his life.
It is our desire to see our young people to develop the character of God – character which will serve them well right now as well as in the future!