Our Godly Characters
Carlton Foster – July 2021
Someone said to me that our characters are what we will take to God; that He will judge us by our characters – which are the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual; that is our personality, which is the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character. This distinctive behavior is like DNA; it specifically identifies me. So what are the acceptable characters our Lord is looking for?
Moses said, “Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands (Deuteronomy 8:2 NLT)”. Someone also said the ‘Godly laws are the standard by which our characters are tested’. The laws will indeed identify you: that is if you are prone to disobey them, or to uphold them; it surely is one of the benchmarks used to define a person’s character; however, there are other tendencies other than a legal standard to test our characters, such as our love for others or even our enemies. Paul said, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23)”. These qualities will also test our characters. They are the character-building qualities God is expecting from us.
If we are always showing love to others, having a joyous spirit, are always quick to make peace with others, are very tolerant and patient with others, willing to give and be kind to others, always be positive and gentle, controlling one’s emotions and responsiveness, and respect for others even when they are different from you, this will identify you as a godly person. Being obedient to the laws of God is also a good quality to have. If you are not a regular of breaking God’s 10 commandments, not sexual immoral person, not impure, does not lust for worldly pleasures, do not reverence idolatry, do not practice sorcery; not hostile, don’t embrace quarreling and loud outbursts of anger; is not selfish or promote dissension or division, is not envious, abstain from drunkenness and wild parties, then you having none of these sinful qualities will make you have godly characters.
God is merciful and He does overlook minor offensives, but the wages of sin is death. Wages mean weekly or frequent mishaps, which will lead to a bad character and will lead a person to eternal death. Paul reassured us in Romans 5:3-5, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance, and endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” However, we must be careful of who we associate with. While we may strive to do God’s will, we may encounter those who want to break our good character. So Peter warned us and said, “Bad Company corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33)”, so we must be careful about what is right or wrong, who we join friendship with, and that we must stop sinning. As we interact with others, our manner of interactions shows who we are, and shows a picture of our true self. We must identify those who frequently wage war against us to provoke us to wrath, and drop them from our list of associates, and put them on our prayer list.
Jesus said a good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What I say flows from what is in my heart, so my mental and moral qualities distinctively identify me as who I am to the world. I must therefore model godly characters to be ready for the return of Jesus Christ who will say ‘come! you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.’