The Elements of One's Character
“We boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:2-4
What is character? It is not seen very often in the bible, perhaps because it is hard to put a real definition on it. One definition is “the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person”. Another way of saying it is “Who you are or what you do when no one is looking”.
In doing some research on what exactly “character” is, I discovered there are five qualities or features that make up one’s character. These are Courage, Discipline, Vision, Endurance, and Love.
Courage is knowing what needs to be done and doing it in spite of difficulties or obstacles.
Discipline is acting in accordance with rules of acceptable conduct. Taking care of responsibilities up front and then take time to enjoy things that give you pleasure.
Vision is looking into the future, being able to see what is possible and plan how to make yours and other’s lives better.
Endurance simply put is to “keep on keeping on”. It’s doing what you feel God wants you to do rather than doing what’s easier.
The most important feature of all though is LOVE. It’s so important that it can be broken down into four parts:
Tenderhearted Love is empathizing with others to feel what they feel and spend time with them to show how you care about them.
Tough Love is demonstrated by telling the truth but doing it in a sensitive way. Jesus loved the Pharisees as much as anyone but did not hesitate to scold them as in Matthew 23:13-15.
Sacrificial love is helping others by sacrificing your time, energy and money. The most profound example of this is shown in John 3:16 where God was so concerned about our welfare that he sacrificed His Son.
Radical Love is the most difficult to understand and perform. It is demonstrated in one word: Forgiveness. We need to learn to forgive others as God has forgiven us as laid out for us in the Lord’s Prayer.
By developing our character we can then have hope that we will one day join with God in heaven. But no matter how wonderful our character is, it will not earn us SALVATION. SALVATION cannot be earned-it is already FREE. It costs us nothing, but it cost Him EVERYTHING. Only through Christ will we be saved. However, God really is pleased when His children possess good character. Do what you can to develop yours.