Maybe you got the right grades in high school and attended a good college. You came out ready to set the world on fire, but settled instead for a steady paycheck. Or, maybe like me, you went against the norm and caused some trouble earlier in life. The unconventional life is what I lived. I always felt that there was so much more to life than playing it safe.
What makes you tick? If you were writing down your story, how would you describe your character? Grab a piece of paper and a pen, and jot down a few things. It’s not what we do for a living that defines us, it’s who we are as a person and what we live for.
Why does your character make the choices they do?
How does their life affect those closest to them?
What has your character learned that they can pass on to others?
How would others describe your character?
These are just answers for you to think about, not for anyone else to see, so answer them truthfully. Now that you have a description of your character, let it sit for a bit. Come back to it later and read it again.
Do you like the character that you see forming on the page? If yes – great!
If you are not happy in anyway, get busy.
All of us benefit by thinking about the people we look up to, and qualities they possess. By working to incorporate those qualities into our day-to-day life, they can become part of our character too.
As long as you are still living, the story isn’t over. The character is not written in stone.
No matter who you are or what you are doing now, you have within yourself the ability to change your story, improve your character.
Investing time in improving your character is time well spent. We all have time. How we spend it comes down to what is most important to us.
Part of the character building process is realizing we can not go at it alone. Ask for advice, ask for help, and when you do you may be surprised at the outcome.
Looking back at the main character of my story, there were a lot of qualities I’m not proud of in the younger me. The good news is, I wasn’t doomed to stay that way forever. With commitment, time, hard work, help from others and a lot of help from God, I’ve changed. I’m still a work in progress, and my story isn’t over, but I’m here to let you know, you can change too if your character isn’t what you want it to be.
If you had a hard time coming up with a list of qualities that you have, the Bible is a great place to look. It has a whole lot to say about character traits. For every good character quality, there is a bad counterpart. Take a few minutes to glance through the list below. Pick a quality listed and see which side of the coin your character currently sits on.
Alertness vs. Unawareness
Being aware of that which is taking place around me so I can have the right response to it (Mark 14:38)
Attentiveness vs. Unconcern
Showing the worth of a person by giving undivided attention to his words and emotions (Hebrews 2:1)
Availability vs. Self-centeredness
Making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I am serving (Philippians 2:20–21
Contentment vs. Covetousness
Realizing that God has provided everything I need for my present happiness (I Timothy 6:8)
Creativity vs. Underachievement
Approaching a need, a task, an idea from a new perspective (Romans 12:2)
Decisiveness vs. Double-mindedness
The ability to finalize difficult decisions based on the will and ways of God (James 1:5)
Deference vs. Rudeness
Limiting my freedom in order not offend the tastes of those whom God has called me to serve (Romans 14:21)
Dependability vs. Inconsistency
Fulfilling what I consented to do even if it means unexpected sacrifice (Psalm 15:4)
Determination vs. Faintheartedness
Purposing to accomplish God’s goals in God’s time regardless of the opposition (II Timothy 4:7–8)
Diligence vs. Slothfulness
Visualizing each task as a special assignment from the Lord and using all my energies to accomplish it (Colossians 3:23)
Discretion vs. Simplemindedness
The ability to avoid words, actions, and attitudes which could result in undesirable consequences (Proverbs 22:3)
Endurance vs. Giving up
The inward strength to withstand stress to accomplish God’s best (Galatians 6:9)
Flexibility vs. Resistance
Not setting my affections on ideas or plans which could be changed by God or others (Colossians 3:2)
Forgiveness vs. Rejection
Clearing the record of those who have wronged me and allowing God to love them through me (Ephesians 4:32)
Generosity vs. Stinginess
Realizing that all I have belongs to God and using it for His purposes (II Corinthians 9:6)
Gentleness vs. Harshness
Showing personal care and concern in meeting the need of others (I Thessalonians 2:7)
Gratefulness vs. Unthankfulness
Making known to God and others in what ways they have benefited my life (I Corinthians 4:7)
Hospitality vs. Loneliness
Cheerfully sharing food, shelter, and spiritual refreshment with those whom God brings into my life (Hebrews 13:2)
Humility vs. Pride
Recognizing that it is actually God who is responsible for the achievements in my life (James 4:6)
Initiative vs. Unresponsiveness
Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it (Romans 12:21)
Joyfulness vs. Self-pity
The spontaneous enthusiasm of my spirit when my soul is in fellowship with the Lord (Psalm 16:11)
Love vs. Selfishness
Giving to others’ basic needs without having as my motive personal reward (I Corinthians 13:3)
Loyalty vs. Unfaithfulness
Using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to God and to those whom He has called me to serve (John 15:13)
Meekness vs. Anger
Yielding my personal rights and expectations to God (Psalm 62:5)
Orderliness vs. Disorganization
Preparing myself and my surroundings so I will achieve the greatest efficiency (I Corinthians 14:40)
Patience vs. Restlessness
Accepting a difficult situation from God without giving Him a deadline to remove it (Romans 5:3–4)
Punctuality vs. Tardiness
Showing high esteem for other people and their time (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Resourcefulness vs. Wastefulness
Wise use of that which others would normally overlook or discard (Luke 16:10)
Responsibility vs. Unreliability
Knowing and doing what both God and others are expecting from me (Romans 14:12)
Security vs. Anxiety
Structuring my life around that which is eternal and cannot be destroyed or taken away (John 6:27)
Self-Control vs. Self-indulgence
Obedience to the promptings of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:24–25)
Sensitivity vs. Callousness
Exercising my senses so I can perceive the true spirit and emotions of those around me (Romans 12:15)
Sincerity vs. Hypocrisy
Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives (I Peter 1:22)
Thoroughness vs. Incompleteness
Knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words if neglected (Proverbs 18:15)
Thriftiness vs. Extravagance
Not letting myself or others spend that which is not necessary (Luke 16:11)
Tolerance vs. Prejudice
Acceptance of others as unique expressions of specific character qualities in varying degrees of maturity (Philippians 2:2)
Truthfulness vs. Deception
Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts (Ephesians 4:25)
Virtue vs. Impurity
The moral excellence and purity of spirit that radiate from my life as I obey God’s Word (II Peter 1:3)
List taken and edited from the one found at: http://graceonlinelibrary.org/home-family/christian-parenting/49-godly-character-qualities
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness… often attributed incorrectly to the Constitution, they are the famous words found in the Declaration of Independence.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
You are free to choose how you spend your time, where you live, what you read, the words you speak, and the future you work towards. There are no hordes of barbarians at your gates, no wild beasts hunting you, you don’t have to spend your days gathering and hunting for your meals. If you believe you are being held down by some force, then you are – you will be holding yourself back.
So where is your time spent? This is where the small steps and freedom of choice come into play daily our lives. Will you watch a tv drama, a sports game, or go to the gym? We can spend our time on distractions or we can better ourselves and those around us. Exercise will make you feel better physically and mentally. If you feel better, those around you will notice and be inspired. Lead by example. Will you spend an hour on Facebook or pick up a book and feed your mind?
Liberty, wrote Thomas Jefferson, is “unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.” We are all given the right to do as we choose, as long as it does not infringe on others.
Many people confuse unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as the right to be cared for and have our needs met for us. Our needs being met is not something we are owed by being born. We have the freedom to choose how we meet them through our decisions and how we spend our time.
Government was never intended to take care of our needs – that is what we are intended to use our freedom to accomplish. That and so much more! The beauty of life in our day is that meeting needs is just the beginning, the limit is the limit of your dreams and your hard work.
Very few people living in the United States understand this concept. Many people would prefer for the government to be our surrogate parents, taking care of us from the cradle to the grave. That has become a big pattern of this world. Paul writes in Romans that as Christians we are not to be conformed to the patterns of our world, but instead we should renew our minds, take care of our bodies, and seek God’s will. Are you renewing your mind? Taking care of your Body? Is your goal, as Paul instructs, to find and follow God’s will for your life?
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.