Every person is known by their character, whether good or bad, godly or ungodly, honorable or dishonorable. If we claim to know God, then our character should be godly. So how do we develop godly character?
Romans 5:3-4 say, “We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” This Scripture tells us that suffering produces perseverance, which produces character. Not exactly the news you wanted, right? But it’s the truth. When we go through difficult circumstances, we learn to persevere, and in turn, we develop character.
Hopefully, what we produce through suffering and perseverance are godly character traits like the fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). Of course, suffering is not caused by God, but He will use the suffering we experience to develop good things in us. Isn’t it comforting to know that the distress we endure isn’t for nothing? God will use even the affliction in our lives to bring about good (Romans 8:28).
But the choice is ours. We can either allow God to develop good fruit in our lives (through our experiences), or we can resist His work to cultivate godly character in us. When we suffer, we can either pout and complain about it, or we can trust God to work it out for our good and to develop His character in us. One option brings Him glory and honor; the other doesn’t.
Second Peter 1:3 states, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” We can live a godly life and have godly character no matter what we’re facing, and in the process, we come to know God more. Rather than resisting His work, embrace it. Trust what He wants to develop in you. Put yourself on the Potter’s wheel and let Him shape and mold your character to be more like His.
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