What makes you laugh? What makes you cry? What makes you angry? When answering these three questions, the character of a Christ follower can be revealed.
Godly character shows up—or the lack of it is exposed—in our daily values. Whenever we choose to respond to a situation God’s way instead of following our flesh, we develop godly character.
It is the most attractive personality trait a believer can possess. Andy Stanley, senior pastor of North Point Community Church in Georgia, says in his book, Louder Than Words, “Character is the will to do what is right, as defined by God, regardless of personal cost.”
But what does Christ-like character look like? The nine qualities the apostle Paul wrote about in Galatians 5:22-23 constitute a good start: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control; against such there is no law” (MEV).
We are given further instruction in 1 Thessalonians 5:22: “Examine all things. Firmly hold onto what is good. Abstain from all appearances of evil” (MEV).
Because we live in a sinful and broken world, Christ followers cannot avoid every kind of evil. But it is our character—and our godly values—that allow us to shun Satan and his temptations and to concentrate on obeying God.
Pastor Rick Warren says, “God builds character in our lives by allowing us to experience situations where we are tempted to do the exact opposite of the character quality. Character development always involves a choice. When we make the right choice, our character grows more like Christ.”
Remember Christ followers, the world (including our children) is watching us—especially when we laugh, cry and become angry.
Shawn A. Akers is the online managing editor at Charisma Media. He is a published poet and published a story about Dale Earnhardt in NASCAR Chicken Soup for the Soul. You can read his blog here. To sign up for his newsletter, “Step Out of the Boat,” and other Charisma newsletters, click here. You can also listen to his podcasts, the Javelin Sports Show, on the Charisma Podcast Network.