Christian Character, The Lord Tests Our Hearts
We long to be defined as people of Character. In a world that is fraught with perplexing challenges, the heart needs to be reminded that in the Bible character is an unchanging excellence that God defines not one of the world nor our circumstances. Surely we strive and fall short, we fall and rise back up. But in keeping our gaze upon the Lord, we walk in His Promises and commit to obey them.
Character is defined as strength of moral fiber. A.W. Tozer described character as “the excellence of moral beings.” As the excellence of gold is its purity and the excellence of art is its beauty, so the excellence of man is his character. Persons of character are noted for their honesty, ethics, and charity. Descriptions such as “man of principle” and “woman of integrity” are assertions of character. A lack of character is moral deficiency, and persons lacking character tend to behave dishonestly, unethically, and uncharitably.
A person’s character is the sum of his or her disposition, thoughts, intentions, desires, and actions. It is good to remember that character is gauged by general tendencies, not on the basis of a few isolated actions. We must look at the whole life. For example, King David was a man of good character (1 Samuel 13:14) although he sinned on occasion (2 Samuel 11). And although King Ahab may have acted nobly once (1 Kings 22:35), he was still a man of overall bad character (1 Kings 16:33). Several people in the Bible are described as having noble character: Ruth (Ruth 3:11), Hanani (Nehemiah 7:2), David (Psalm 78:72), and Job (Job 2:3). These individuals’ lives were distinguished by persistent moral virtue.
Character is influenced and developed by our choices. Daniel “resolved not to defile himself” in Babylon (Daniel 1:8), and that godly choice was an important step in formulating an unassailable integrity in the young man’s life. Character, in turn, influences our choices. “The integrity of the upright guides them” (Proverbs 11:3a). Character will help us weather the storms of life and keep us from sin (Proverbs 10:9a).
It is the Lord’s purpose to develop character within us. “The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart” (Proverbs 17:3). Godly character is the result of the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification. The Lord is pleased when His children grow in character. “You test the heart and are pleased with integrity” (1 Chronicles 29:17; see also Psalm 15:1-2).
We can develop character by controlling our thoughts (Philippians 4:8), practicing Christian virtues (2 Peter 1:5-6), guarding our hearts (Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 15:18-20), and keeping good company (1 Corinthians 15:33). Men and women of character will set a good example for others to follow, and their godly reputation will be evident to all (Titus 2:7-8). (Source: http://www.Got Questions.org)
Christian Quotes on Character:
- Nothing so clearly discovers a spiritual man as his treatment of an erring brother. —Augustine
- Prayer is the supreme instance of the hidden character of the Christian life. –Deitrich Bonhoeffer
- The expression of Christian character is not good doing, but God-likeness. If the Spirit of God has transformed you within, you will exhibit Divine characteristics in your life, not good human characteristics . God’s life in us expresses itself as God’s life, not as human life trying to be godly. —Oswald Chambers
- What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing; it also depends on what kind of a person you are. —-C.S. Lewis
- The test of Christian character should be that a man is a joy-bearing agent to the world. —Henry Ward Beecher
- Meekness is one of the brightest graces which can adorn the Christian character. —J.C. Ryle
- So often we try to develop Christian character and conduct without taking the time to develop God-centered devotion. We try to please God without taking the time to walk with Him and develop a relationship with Him. This is impossible to do. –Jerry Bridges
- Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own. — Henry Ward Beecher
- The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. —Martin Luther King Jr.
- Doctrine is useless if it is not accompanied by a holy life. It is worse than useless; it does positive harm. Something of ‘the image of Christ’ must be seen and observed by others in our private life, and habits, and character, and doings. —J.C. Ryle
- What makes a Christian a Christian is not perfection but forgiveness. –Max Lucado
- Every Christian has a choice between being humble or being humbled. –Charles Spurgeon
- The worlds greatest need is the personal holiness of Christian people. –J.I. Packer
- To be a Christian is to move toward need, not comfort. –John Piper
The Christian in the one whose imagination should fly beyond the stars. –Francis Shaeffer