“Character is the essential stuff a person is made of the inner
reality and quality in which thoughts, speech, decision, behavior,
and relations are rooted. As such, character determines behavior,
just as behavior demonstrates character.” Os Guiness
How is character related to contribution?
God is more concerned about your character than your contribution. The
choices you make affect your character, and your character effects your
contribution. Character will either destroy or fulfill your contribution.
Often a person with exceptional capabilities and capacity will be promoted
within an organization. That person may move “up the ladder” so to
speak. Their character may be overlooked because of their ability or
competence in a particular field. This happens in both Christian and
How God Builds Character
“…We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces
perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
Romans 5:3-4 NW
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you
from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into
the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything
prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed,
not deficient in any way.”
James 1:2 The Message
Godly character is born and developed in the depths of suffering.
Romans 5:4 Paraphrase
The Example of Two Kings
Compare the lives of two kings of Israel. Both highly capable, but they responded very differently when under pressure. This is what the scriptures say about each man.
• Impressive young man without equal among the Israelites.
• He was chosen by God.
• Anointed by God to lead His people.
• The Spirit of God came upon him and he prophesied.
• There was no one like him among all the people.
• He was accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched.
• The people confirmed him king in the presence of the Lord.
• He had great victories over the Philistines.
• Chosen by God.
• Anointed by God.
• Faithfully served Saul.
• He was a brave man and a warrior.
• The Lord was with him.
• All of Israel and Judah loved him.
• He had great victories over the Philistines.
• All who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him and he became their leader.
• He refused to raise his hand against Saul, God’s anointed.
Each of these men were chosen by God and highly competent. However, pressure and suffering reveal the character of an individual. Note the different reactions when each man is confronted with his sin.
Saul: 1 Samuel 15:12-24
David: 2 Samuel 12:5-14, Psalm 51
What character traits were missing in Saul’s life that led to his downfall?
What character traits were evident in David’s life that enabled him to finish well?
Be more concerned about your character than your reputation. Your reputation is what people think you are. Your character is what your really are. John Wooten
CHARACTER TRAITS EVALUATION
1. Review the following lists of character traits.
2. Make a self-evaluation of each of the traits.
3. Grade yourself from 1 to 5 for each of the traits listed. 1 and 2 scores are low and indicate a need to develop in these areas.
4. Write the number in the space provided next to the trait.
____Acceptance – Receiving another person willingly and unconditionally especially when the other’s behavior has been imperfect. (Romans 15:7)
____Compassion – Feeling the hurts of others together with a desire to alleviate them. (1 Peter 3:8)
_____Contentment – Having satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation. (Philippians 4:11-12)
_____Courage – Displaying mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. (Philippians 4:13)
____Deference – Showing respect and esteem to another; having regard for other’s wishes. (1Timothy 5:1-2)
____Dependability – Being true to your word even when it is difficult to carry out what you promised to do. (Matthew 5:37)
____Diligence – Exercising steady, earnest, and energetic application and effort to a task. (Colossians 3:23-24)
____Discretion – Keeping or holding within limits; not extreme or excessive;
moderation in action, thought, or feeling. (Proverb 5:1-2)
____Endurance – Maintaining the ability to withstand hardship, adversity, or stress; to remain firm under suffering or misfortune without losing hope or giving up. (Romans 5:3-4)
____Faithfulness – Being firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty. (Matthew 25:21)
____Fairness – Displaying impartiality and honesty; free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism. (1 Timothy 5:2 1)
____Flexibility – Responding or conforming, without difficulty, to changing or new situations. (2 Corinthians 2:12-13)
____Forbearance – Holding one’s self back with an effort of self-restraint; to control one’s self when provoked. (Proverbs 15:1)
____Forgiveness – Choosing not to feel resentment against an offender; to give up resentment of a claim or to requital for an offense. (Ephesians 4:32)
____Generosity – Giving liberally; learning to be a wise steward of time, money, or possessions. (2 Corinthians 8:9, 9:7).
____Gentleness – Expressing freedom from harshness, sternness or violence.
____Gratefulness — Appreciating benefits received; looking for ways to express genuine appreciation. (Ephesians 5:20)
_____Honesty — Responding in fairness and straightforwardness of conduct; free from fraud or deception. (Proverbs 8:6-8)
_____Hospitality – Showing generous and cordial reception of guests; offering a pleasant or sustaining environment. (1 Peter 4:9)
_____Humility – Having a spirit of deference or submission; not proud or haughty, not arrogant or assertive. (Ephesians 4:2)
____Initiative – Displaying energy or aptitude in initiation of action; independently of outside influence or control. (Proverbs 24:30-34)
____Integrity – Having a firm adherence to a code of moral values; being incorruptible.
_____Joyfulness – Displaying eternal hopefulness in spite of current circumstances. (James 1:2-3)
_____Kindness – Being characterized by sympathy or forbearance; an agreeable or beneficial nature. (Colossians 3:12-13)
____Love – Showing unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another. (1 Corinthians 13:6-7)
____Loyalty – Being faithful to a cause, ideal, mission, values, or people.
____Meekness – Choosing to endure injury with patience and without resentment; power under control. (2 Corinthians 10:1)
____Patience – Bearing pain or trials calmly or without complaint; not hasty or
impetuous; steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity. (James 5:10-11)
____ Purity – Being free from moral fault or guilt; no conflict of loyalties, no mixture of motives, no hypocrisy; freedom from sensual pollution. (1Timothy 4:12)
____Respectful -Considering others worthy of high regard; showing deference or esteem toward others. (Philippians 2:2-4)
____Responsibility – Answering for one’s conduct and obligations; trustworthy; able to choose for oneself between right and wrong. (Matthew 25:21)
____Self-control – Exercising restraint over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires. (1 Corinthians 9:25-27)
____Sensitivity – Being aware of the needs and emotions of others. (Ephesians 4:29)
____Sincerity – Displaying honesty of mind; freedom from hypocrisy.
____Teachable — Willing to learn; capable of being taught. (Matthew 10:24)
____Truthfulness – Expressing what is right without misrepresenting the facts. Facing the consequences of a mistake. (Ephesians 4:25)
The test of a man’s character is not what he does in the exceptional moments of life, but what he does in the ordinary times, when there is nothing tremendous or exciting going on.
CHARACTER TRAITS EVALUATION
Considerations in Determining Character Needs Notes
1. Make a sane estimate of yourself, your strengths as well as your
2. Look for that missing quality not yet acquired, or a character
quality you would like to develop.
3. Determine if there is a character issue that if not developed could
seriously prevent or hinder you from maximizing your
4. Ask God to reveal to you the areas that need developing.
Character areas that are strengths
Character areas that need development
What can you do to respond to these areas of need?
1. Decide on the character traits most needing development and
describe why this is a need.
2. Describe the changes and improvements you desire.
3. Pray specifically about this area of need, asking God to change
1. Identify one or two trusted friends that you will establish an
accountability relationship with concerning your areas of
development. Those to whom you can be transparent and vulnerable.
2. Have other trusted people review the list of character traits and select
three areas of strength and three areas of need that they observe in
NOTE: Transfer your observations and your accountability network to
your Personal Development Plan.