An Exploration Into What Determines The Christian Character?

The ability to develop your character is a long term process. It doesn’t matter whether you have been a Christian for a long time or you’ve recently found God. In fact, character is something every person aims to build. This blog post explores the different ways in which we can build our character centred on Christian values.

  • C: Choices-  Choices can be good or bad, wise or unwise, righteous or unrighteous, courageous or cowardice, bold or timid, faithful or faithless, hopeful or hopeless, loving or hateful and in peace or in pieces. As a Christian, it is important to choose well because it has an impact on your walk with God, our blessings and our future. However, every choice has a consequence. For instance, using my life as an example, in moments where I have strayed away from God, I have experienced the outcome of my decisions despite God’s arms being open to me, my choices still have its consequences.  Therefore, it is imperative to learn from your choices and in your best interest to make good ones. This not only makes life easier but can improve the quality of our lives.
  • H: Heart-  With our hearts, it is good that we love God and people. The heart should always aim to reflect love as highlighted as the Greatest Commandment in Matthew 22: 37-39. Also in Matthew 12:34,  it states ‘….Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. This suggests that the content of our heart determines our speech. If our heart is callous and cold, our speech will reflect this. Therefore our hearts must be guarded as explained in Proverbs 4:23. This is because all issues and aspect of life are in the heart.
  • A: Actions- Our actions should reflect compassion and look to imitate how Jesus lives. In practise this is easier said than done. Nonetheless, actions closely reveal our character. Therefore, in building and developing your character it is imperative to closely monitor your actions.
  • R: Reality- The balance between how you view yourself and how what your world is  like should not be skewed. For instance, I may see myself as good, kind and loving but my reality may not match. People may see me as nasty, mean or unkind. The perception of yourself should aim to match your reality. Furthermore, both your perception and reality needs to grounded in God.
  • A: Ability: The ability determines what you are able to do, what you are good at and what you need to improve in. The art of improving your ability can also help improve your character. This is because it may yield characteristics such as perseverance, decision making, hard work and patience. These are all good attributes and in the Philippians 4:8 we are encouraged to keep doing ‘whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things’.
  • C: Constraints- As a Christian in need of developing their Christian Character, there must be constraints on certain aspects of our lives. A boundary encouraging us to understand that there are certain things that we just cannot do. This is because they may be wrong, lead us to sin and may deeply cost us in spiritual, personal, professional aspects of our lives.
  • T: Talents- According to Matthew 25:14-30, in the Parable of The Talents, we can deduce that we should:
    – Maximise our potential
    – Utilise our talents
    – Be diligent in using the gifts, skills and attributes that God has given us.
    – Not to be lazy or rather ‘slothful’ in the things we do
    This parable encourages us to utilise everything God has given us and multiple into more than what we are given so that we can enter God’s joy.
  • E: Experiences- Our experiences often reveals our character. This is because when we have something happening to us, the way in which we deal with it often shows our character. For instance, if something negative happens and we see it in a different way either as a blessing or it was an opportunity not for me. We have dealt with that experience with maturity.
  • R: Reasoning- Finally, our reasoning can be explained on three levels. These are:
  1. Secular: This encompasses thinking like a introvert or extrovert or even as an optimist, pessimist, realist or opportunists. These characteristics can determine how you reason and how that reasoning manifests in action.
  2. Christian: This refers to the Fruit of the Spirit which are love, peace, joy, long suffering, kindness, goodness meekness and similar attributes  as explained in Galatians 5: 22-23.
  3. Personality: This is determined by whether you are a logical, emotive, pragmatic, wise or rational thinker.

Personally, I believe each of these types of reasoning are important in determining your character and should be looked at holistically.

Thank you very much for reading. Please feel free to share what you think determines Christian Character.

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