bits from bob....

Are We People of Character?

by Robert J. Young
©, 2001, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Spirituality involves character, conviction (heart), abilities, purpose, and knowledge. A basic building block of our spiritual growth is character.

I knew a person once about whom it was often said, "He is quite a character!" Such usually refers to a person's uniqueness, not always in a positive sense. The writer of Hebrews uses the word in 1:3. "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being." Can you pick out the translation of the Greek word, charakter? If you chose "exact representation," you are right. Characters may or may not be unique, but they are representations of something or someone.

The Christian is a replica of Christ in the same way Christ is the image of God (Col. 1:15). We look like Christ, we act like Christ, we talk like Christ, we are identified with Christ.

One cannot talk about character without talking about habits. People have a certain character because they have developed that character. Christians are committed to developing spiritual growth habits that help transform us daily into the image of Christ. Every day, I want to look more and more like him. When people look at me, I want them to see Jesus. When people look at this church, I hope they see Jesus. This view of spiritual habits teaches us that spiritual activities are to be enjoyed, not merely endured. When we embrace Christian character, we can know the joy of being devoted rather than driven, committed rather than commanded.

A wise man said, "The second half of a man's life is made up of habits he acquired during first half." The strength of a person's virtue is measured by his habitual acts. If we will develop basic spiritual habits--time with God's word, the habit of prayer, the habit of serving and sharing, the habit of fellowship, we will find character developing.

Character is a first step toward letting God shape you for his ministry. As we worship today, may each seek Christ's character. That character will make us like him--connected to God in meaningful relationship, guided by his word and will, continually celebrating his presence in our lives.

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Last updated February 21, 2001.