Character: Key 1 - Information (Part 1)
- 5 Keys To Effective Growth In Christlike Character
Key 1: Information (Part 1)
A. What is Character?
1. A Character Quality Is A Usual Pattern
of Moral Thinking, Speaking & Acting - A Habit.
2. A Person's Character Is A Composite of
Their Character Qualities.
3. 49 Examples of Character Qualities.
4. All 49 Qualities Are Qualities, or A
Composite or Qualities, of The Lord Jesus Christ.
To grow in these 49 qualities is to grow in godly, good or Christlike
character (that is, in character qualities exhibited by Jesus Christ).
B. How Is Character Developed?
1. General Process.
* A Timeless Maxim Conveys The Universal Truth:
'Sow A Thought, Reap An Action.
Sow An Action, Reap A Habit.
Sow A Habit, Reap A Character.
Sow A Character, Reap A Destiny'
With every person, repeated actions form habits, which together form
character, which impacts destiny.
Actions include not only observable actions like speech and behavior,
but internal actions like praying, planning, deciding, and controlling
one's reactions to emotions.
* The differences in people's conduct, character and destiny stem
from differences in their daily moral choices.
Example: A person's repeated practice of being late reinforces the
character quality of tardiness. This character quality may reduce the
opportunities available to the person in the future, since it conveys to
others the ideas that this person is irresponsible, disorganized and not
caring about others.
* The process proceeds regardless of whether daily choices are made
consciously or unconsciously, by contemplation or indifference, willing
or unwilling, knowing or unknowing.
* Each choice made throughout the day impacts and reinforces the
direction of a person's life - towards Christ likeness or away from it.
2. The Bible Confirms This General Process.
* The goal is Christ likeness in character and conduct, which
impacts the destiny of the Christian. "But reject profane and old wives'
fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise
profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having
promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come." (1
* Right choices and actions lead to right habits which lead to right
character. Right choices and actions are those conforming to god's
teachings. "Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves
to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading
to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?" "I speak in human
terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented
your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to
more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness
for holiness." (Romans 6:16, 19)
* These choices and actions stem from thoughts that conform to God's
word. "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and
acceptable and perfect will of God." "Finally, brethren, whatever things
are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever
things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good
report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything
praiseworthy--meditate on these things." (Romans 12:2; Philippians 4:8.)
In short, we grow in Christ likeness by making our choices and actions
in accord with God's word. Since the 49 character qualities are
qualities of Jesus Christ, we grow in Christ likeness by developing
* The Bible also shows the importance of the daily moral choice to
include God in the process, asking for his help and committing to his
* "But reject profane and old wives' fables, and exercise
yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but
godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that
now is and of that which is to come." (1 Timothy 4:7-8)
* "Be holy, for I am holy." (1 Peter 1:16)
* "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the
glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory
to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3:18)
* "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
3. Observations About This Universal Process.
* This process goes on, with or without our intentionality. With the
intentionality of making right daily decisions it can lead to Christ
* Controlling and directing the process is a process of intentional
* Progress depends on both time and speed.
* The distance a person grows towards Christlike character depends
both on time and the speed with which he or she learns God's truths and
integrates obedience to them (including prayer) into everyday life.
May the grace of God be with you in everything you do.
Servant of Christ,
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"Life is an opportunity to serve, love, and forgive as God, himself, has
done for us."
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]