C is for Character

Character is generally defined as

the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.

Beyond that, character is generally thought of as “doing the right thing even when no one else is looking.”  Without really intending to, many of us have generalized that character is something we develop when bad things happen in our lives. Or we think of it as part of a long list of things we need to teach our children.

Character is so much more than that.

c is for character

My character is tied to my relationship with God.

In my study notes, I’ve written the following definition.

Character – doing the right things for the right reasons every time. Even when no one is looking. Being who God defined me to be.

It’s not enough to do the right thing. It’s not enough to do good behind closed doors.  I only begin to approach “enough-ness” when I approach the throne on a daily basis.

The bible is crammed full of verses on character.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, (Romans 5:3-4)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge; and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness; and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. (2 Peter 1:5-7)

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Proverbs 31:10

When I think of character, I think of fruit.

Seriously. When I think about the kind of character I want to see in my life or the lives of my children, it starts to read like a list from scripture.

love

joy

peace

patience

kindness

goodness

faithfulness

gentleness

self-control

perseverance

knowledge (wisdom)

diligence

moral excellence

brotherly kindness

thankfulness

grace

I know it’s a long list. But it’s all right there in the scriptures I listed. Those are all the things that God promises us as a direct result of a close relationship with Him.

The conclusion is pretty obvious to me.

It’s true for me.

It’s true for my children.

It’s true for you.

Draw near to God. Character follows.

Draw near to God. Character follows.

Note: This post is part of an ongoing series expanding the vision first shared in the 31 day series on writing.

P is for Passion

E is for Encouragement

A is for Authentic

C is for Character

the peace vision - this is why i write what i write on my blog

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. Beautiful post Susan. I definitely have always loved that quote about the true meaning of character. Can’t wait to share this!-Ashley

  2. Thanks, Susan, for sharing this wonderful post on Character! I love this: “Draw near to God; Character follows”!!

    • Yesterday’s post included the verse “draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” That verse was echoing in my mind when I wrote the close for today’s post. I was struck by how many of the character traits I desire for myself (and my kids) have their basis in spiritual fruit. It simplifies things to see it that way!

  3. Such truth! I love this post, Susan. Thanks so much for the reminder that while God asks a lot of us, He is also the One who provides what we need to accomplish it. We can never underestimate the power of relationship with the Creator of all things.

  4. What a great lesson and list. I have been thinking about what I want my children to remember most about what I teach them and thinking of maybe posting some scriptures or words around our home. A list like this would be great!

  5. Susan, My choleric, take-charge nature so often leaves me feeling like building character, both in myself and in my kids, is some tyrannical to-do list at which I am desperately failing. This approach opened my eyes to the fact that all these fruits don’t come from us getting it right, but from us getting closer to God. What a relief grace is. Now if only I can keep remembering.

    • I totally get that! When we started homeschooling this past fall, I was OVERWHELMED with the idea of character education for my kids. It’s a HUGE (tyrannical) list. It took me several months to get to this truth and understand that GOD is in control of my character and that of my children. My job is to point them to Him and gently nudge them.

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