Developing Character

Character has been described as how you act when no one else is around. A desirable character is one that must be molded by God’s standards, not just human ones. We are told that Saul was an impressive looking man, tall and statuesque. Samuel may have been looking for someone like Saul to be Israel’s next king, but God warned him from judging by appearance alone (1 Samuel 16:7). When people judge by outward appearance, they may overlook individuals who may lack the particular physical qualities society currently admires, thus missing out on those with strong character.

Fortunately, God judges by faith and character, not appearances. And because only God can see the inside, only He can accurately judge people. Most people spend hours each week maintaining their outward appearance; they should do even more to develop their inner character. Character can be developed though challenges, suffering, and by temptation.

When God challenged Abraham, it was not to watch him fall, but to deepen his capacity to obey Him and thus develop his character (Genesis 22:1). Just as fire refines ore to extract precious metals, God refines us through difficult circumstances. When we are tested, we can complain, or we can try to see how God is stretching us to develop our character.

For first-century Christians, suffering was the rule rather than the exception. This has unfortunately only increased in recent times. While not all of us will be called to martyrdom, we will experience other difficulties that will help us grow. We rejoice in suffering, not because we like pain or deny its tragedy, but because we know God is using life’s difficulties and Satan’s attacks to build our character (Romans 5:3-4). The problems we run into will develop our perseverance—which in turn will strengthen our character, deepen our trust in God, and give us greater confidence in the future. Look at James 1:2-4 and 1 Peter 1:6-7 for additional Scriptural support.

Character is also developed by temptation. Jesus left the crowds and went into the desert where He was tempted by Satan (Mark 1:12-13). Temptation itself is not sinful, but only when we give in is sin born. We should not despise times of inner testing, because through them God can strengthen our character and teach us valuable lessons (Proverbs 3:11-12).

Character can only be developed rightfully by a humble and contrite heart. When you face temptations and the turmoil it brings, remember Jesus. He used God’s Word (from Deuteronomy) against Satan and won. We have the power of the Holy Spirit residing in us to do just the same, but we must allow ourselves to be weak so He can be strong for us.

This is the ultimate mark of godly character: to allow Him to mold us by relinquishing our will for His.


  1. Truly very inspiring. I will be with you daily every morning! May God empower your words more everyday! God bless!


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