A person’s true character is often revealed during the great moments of life, but it is forged in the small moments through choices we make and actions we take on a daily basis.
This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She is a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for markalanwilliams.net.
There is nothing quite like an unexpected crisis to show one’s character. The day started out like any other. But by 10:30 p.m., it was obvious that our home of 15 years was in the direct path of a huge, Santa Ana wind-driven; and rapidly spreading fire. The Police and Sheriff departments called with warnings to leave.
Local news stations reported that evacuation centers were full and my husband was calling hotels. They too were full. I panicked and questioned my husband, “Why did we wait so long and where are we going to go?” Then I told him, “We need a plan!”
He simply said, “Trust in the Lord.” Thankfully, we found a hotel, collected our things and convinced my reluctant mother to join us. I apologized to my husband and we were able to work together to leave. Thankfully our home was spared.
Character is so important. It starts with our thoughts and it develops through daily moment-by-moment decisions and actions we make; ultimately defining and revealing who we are during life’s great moments.
Google defines character as: “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.”
Having good character means we possess qualities of moral excellence; some of which include: wisdom, humility, integrity, patience and courage.
One day we will have to give an account to God for our thoughts, words, actions and habits.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13 NIV)
Developing good character is difficult, because the problem is that we can’t be good on our own. For example, before I was a Christian, I confess that I was dishonest.
But, even Christians can struggle with doing the right thing. In our minds we may want to, but as I reacted during the fire, we sometimes operate in the flesh and not the Spirit.
Romans 7:22-25 says, “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”” (NIV)
Thankfully, because of Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit to help us.
Spirit filled living is the answer for developing the right character.
Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (NIV)
As we submit to the Lord, He reproduces His character in us. Some people view submission negatively, but it is for our own good. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is self-control, which is necessary for producing good character.
Each day we have opportunities in the small moments of life to cultivate good or bad character. With God’s power we can choose to speak with kindness to rude people. We can choose honesty instead of dishonesty. We can choose to tell the truth instead of a lie. Our responses and actions can develop into either good or bad habits.
Thus, our character made in the small moments of life will reveal itself in the greater moments according to habits that we form today.
This quote sums up how character is formed.
Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”
Late President of the Bi-Lo Stores
Would you like to develop Christ-like character?
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Additional resources about related subjects on this site:
- Who Needs Jesus, I’m a Good Person
- Submit to Get What You Want
- 3 Steps to Get the Help You Need Today
- S. Lewis on Integrity
- 3 Acceptable Sins You Can Enjoy Today…or NOT!
- Podcast: Are all Sins Equal?
- Podcast: Will someone lose their salvation if they commit terrible sins?