Life In Three Parts

Life Lesson # 9 Character and Values

Looking Inward
Life Lesson # 1 Humility
Life Lesson # 2 Love
Life Lesson # 3 Presence
Life Lesson # 4 Wholeness
Life Lesson # 5 Surrender
Life Lesson # 6 Grace
Looking Outward
Life Lesson # 7 Vision
Life Lesson # 8 Empowerment
Life Lesson # 9 Character and Values
Life Lesson # 10 Taking Action
Life Lesson # 11 Servant Leadership
Looking Onward
Life Lesson # 12 Listen to be Heard
Life Lesson #13 Realization
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Purpose: As Christians we must always understand that we are called to a higher standard of purity and character in order to be a living examples that others may follow.


Over the last forty or fifty years the idea of being of good character and having good values has taken a nosedive.  People no longer value anything even human life which is evident in the rising statistics in the rate of murder and abortion.  It is demoralizing to see murderer labeled as victims of society and abortion labeled as a choice.  As Christians we should be standing on the street corners condemning this form of lifestyle.  This is what the prophets of the Old Testament did and this is what Jesus did when He walked the earth.  Jesus condemned the status quo and preached that we as His followers should live a life according to God’s word. 


Sadly many Christians today have turned their backs on the truth of God’s word and have returned to their rebellious ways and a life of living like the world around them.  He problem is that many of these Christian’s don’t even know they are going against their calling they are only going with the flow.   Well going with the flow will get you to your destination but you will not like what is there waiting for you.   The river flows where it wants to go sometimes overflowing its banks sometimes creating a new riverbed and a new direction.  As Christians we have one direction we should be going, the straight and narrow path that leads to the Lord not the wide path that leads to destruction. 


If your read through the Old Testament book of Nahum you will get the idea of God’s displeasure with professing believers who turn their back on Him and still continue to sin.  As a Christians we have died to our old lives and have been reborn into a life of good character and utmost purity and values. This is also one of the central themes of the Parable of the 2 builders. 


Read the Parable of the two builders in Matthew 7 24:27 and in your won words describe it’s application your character and values.


Character Built Over A Lifetime/ Lost in a Minute


It takes a lifetime to build a reputation and only an instant to destroy it.  Most people don’t remember all the good things that you have done but blow it once and they will never forget it.  A perfect example of this is former President Clinton.  If you asked average American what they remember most about Clinton’s Presidency they will usually answer with the first thing that comes to mind, the Monica Lewinsky affair. This means that Bill Clinton will be forever remembered for his indiscretion.  If you polled these same Americans and asked them to name something positive about Clinton’s two terms good most of these same Americans will be hard pressed to think of one bill he signed into law or one good thing he did for this country.  


Christians are not immune to this type of thinking, we can spend a months building report with someone only to have it destroyed in one minute by a faulty word or an inappropriate action.   If you don’t think this is true all you need to do is look at Jim and Tammy Faye Baker or Jerry Falwell.  For all the good they did they are still remembered for their indiscretions. 


The Bible talks about keeping a good character and having good moral values.  This is not only so we may remain blameless in the world’s eyes but also is also to help others see Jesus through us. 


Remember if we blur the vision of Jesus through our wrong actions or words others may never come to know Him.  In short we should avoid being hypocrites at all times.  What we say should always be what we do. 


Read the following verses and in your own words write down how God views hypocrisy


Psalm 26:4

Isaiah 29:13

Matthew 23:27-28

Titus 1:16

1 Peter 2:1


From these verses you can see the importance of always living an outward life of good character and moral values.  Our outward habits always start with our inward state of heart.  You notice I didn’t say mind because unless what we feel about God is heart felt it would not be expressed in our outward habits.   We will be as whitewashed tombs that look good on the outside but which on the inside are in need of one of those extreme makeovers.


Reflect On Your Character


When was the last time you took a nice long look at our own reflection in the mirror?   I mean you really take the time to look hard at yourself examining you face for every flaw, every wrinkle, every tell tale sign of who you really are.  Now take this same approach and open up God’s word.   Use God’s word as your mirror and take the time to see if your reflection measures up to the true appearance of God’s word. 


This is a hard thing to do because we do not want to admit to anyone that we have flaws, that we not meet the requirements for the position that we are being called to.  Worst of all is admitting to our teammates that our character, as measured by God’s word, might be flawed.  How many of you have ever gone on a job interview?  At a job interview they always ask you two questions: what are your strengths and what are your weaknesses/.  The first question is easy to answer; the second question is much tougher to answer, because we do not want to admit that our character might be flawed.   It is the same in every part of our lives, we do not want to admit that we do things wrong. 


The Bible is the authority on character, filled with all kinds of characters.  From Abraham to Moses to Paul there were men who had flaws, but who with the faith to trust in God rose to the occasion and exhibited themselves as men of character and moral values.  It was with this life of good character through God not themselves that they were able to gain acceptance with those around them and lead may people to God.  They were the traits of character of humility and humbleness and understood their place in this world.


God did not leave us alone to try and develop our character on our own; He gives us strength through the Holy Spirit to exhibit with our teammates good character and good moral values no matter what.  It is God whom we should be reflecting in character and values.  It is God who brings out the best is each of our characters, from the so-called geek who sits on His computer to the person who cannot stop talking.  Each of us is given talents by God according to our abilities, our personalities, and our character traits. 


The Bible is the Owner’s Manual on how we are to act and as to what type of character we are to be.  You must build your life around Biblical truths not the here today gone tomorrow ideas of modern psychology, self help books and whatever the latest fad tells you to do.


Read the following Bible verses then list some practical ways in which you can build your character.


1 Corinthians 2:7

Ephesians 1:1



Character Development for The Ages


I am sure that if you would have asked Abraham, Joseph or Moses about whether they had a character that others should model they would probably say no way, no how, Uh Huh and then direct your way to God.  You see in the end the great men and women of faith in the Bible were just like you an me in some ways but in character they knew their limitations and they knew from whom their blessings flowed, and lived their lives outwardly according to God’s character and values.   


In this way they have left their legacy of faith for those who came before us, for us and for those who will come after us until the day that Jesus returns.  The question that remains for you and I is what will our legacy be for those who will view our lives after we have gone.  Will people us as great men and women of faith or as someone who fell far short in character and in truth.  We are the leaders of tomorrow like it or not and depending on how we live now could be the difference in how someone views Christ and chooses to live their lives tomorrow.

Take a moment to think about the Legacy you will leave for others and also how much your character and values will play into that legacy.


Also take the time to view the context of the legacy you want to leave in the life you are living now.


Proclaim Your Character By the Way You Live


I don’t know if you fully comprehend the character of God as compared with the character of man.  God is holy man is sinful.  It is this sinful nature that we can only overcome when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  It is through His righteous character that we are made righteous and once made righteous through Christ we are to start living by His example, which means we must develop His character traits, and show them in the way we live. 


Through out our lives God brings certain circumstances to help us develop a more refined more Christ like character.  This is to help ensure that we show others what it truly like to love God and to want to live for Him.  Sometimes we miss out on these opportunities because we are operating in our own little world and we fail to see the truth that surrounds us.  This truth is always there, it is always guiding us to an even better understanding of what it means to be a Christian in today’s world. 


God led many writers over many years to write down examples of this truth in the form of the lives of great leaders such as Moses and David.  These men exhibited a good character towards God even in times of great diversity.  They lived their lives of faith and were not afraid to put up rather than shut up.


I often think of Job who had everything taken away from him but still managed to sit there and in his own personal misery declared what a gracious and wonderful God we have.  How often do we when the going gets tough does our faith gets going in the wrong direction?  I often hear too many Christians grumbling, me included, about little insignificant problems. 


The Bible shows us in many areas the importance of being aware of our surroundings and using each and every opportunity to hone character.  Lets use Peter for an example.  Here is a guy who thought he had strength of character and nothing was going to keep him from defending his Lord but we all know what happened to Peter when it came to crunch time and he had to stand up for who he was, a follower of Jesus.  He denied the Lord three times and fled in shear horror of his betrayal.


The story does not end there though

Read Acts Chapter 2 and 3


Here Peter opened His eyes to and saw how what had happened to him before was necessary to his character building project and because of the learning process he was able to let his true nature shine through, that of a man who love Jesus and was not afraid to show.  In fact each of the 12 Disciples showed their strength of character in the way they went from town to town proclaiming Jesus no matter the personal risk or threat of death.  In fact in the end they all died for their faith and strength of character in proclaiming that faith.


Open Your Eyes to Character Building Opportunities


There is an old saying that many of us see the world with our eyes wide shut.  This is to say that we fail to see the opportunities where we could use our strength of character to show someone the truth of God’s word.  In fact many times we are our own worst enemies when it come to seeing trial and tribulations as opportunities to build upon our strength of character.   As we have already seen many of the great leaders in the Bible were like you and I when it comes to adversity.  They took tail and tried to run the other way only to be chastised by God, but out of that chastisement came characters that were ready to serve God.


Take a few moments to think of some opportunities that you may have missed that could have enhanced you character or the character of another.


Don’t take my word for it lets see what the Bible declares when it comes to seeing and seizing character building opportunities.  Many of these character building opportunities are labeled in the Bible as periods of testing that God uses to refine and define us.  Look at the following verses and see what God says about testing.


2Corithians 8:2


2Corinthians 8:8


Hebrews 3:8


James 1:3


God wants us to be of good character and have the right moral values that are in direct aligned with His word.  This is to be our witness and to be the light that we use to attract others to His love and joy.  Remember there is not too much use for a light that is out or so dim that it cannot light your way.   So if we live our outward lives looking for those opportunities that define our character as it relates to God and His love then we will always be on the right path and will never have to say why when it comes to bad times or good times.


This is because we will know that a testing from the Lord no matter how painful is a way to help us know how close or how far away we are from the love of God.  I am not going to lie to you and as someone who has felt the pain of loss it is not easy to see what good will come from tragedy or trial but if you look at the situation from an eternal perspective it usually helps.


Character Builds Character


You have often heard it said that do unto others, as you will have them do unto you.   This is not just a suggestion it should be a way of life for every Christian.   If we want others to show a Godly character them we need to be a model of that character.  I know what you’re thinking that you do not want to be a role model for anyone, well guess what you are.  People see what you are doing; people hear what you’re saying and people will put one and one together and if they do not add up them they will let you know about it.


I listen to so many sports figures; music stars and even Christians say that they do not want to be role models.  Well all I can say is so what you’re a role model no matter whether you want to be or not.  As a Christian it is your calling to be a role model and a disciple to others in everything you do as it pertains to God’s word.   If you read the Bible, which I hope you do, you will come across verses like:


Luke 11:35

Take care then, that the light in you is not darkness.

Luke 11:36

If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, the whole body will be full of light, as when a lamp shines its light on you."

John 12:36

While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become sons of light." Jesus said this, then went away and hid from them.

Romans 2:19

and are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light to those in darkness,



In all these verse what does the word light mean to you?



Some final questions we always need to ask about our character are:


1. What is the most difficult thing that has happened to you and how has it helped to shape your character and how can I use what I learned to help others?

2. When you get into trouble how do you react and how does your reaction reflect your true character?

3. Why does God allow certain events to happen and what does He want me to learn from them?

4.  Does my true character reflect God or myself?

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