The Bible Spells It Out
"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."
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Hello Everyone! Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great holiday season and I hope that you have already prepared your inner self for increased happiness, peace, better relationships, and more prosperity for 2012! As promised from my last article, I do have a few articles prepared about the importance of having Godly character inside each of us so that we don't sabotage the abundance we all want for ourselves very badly. A great friend of mine,George Selbher has wriiten many lessons about the importance of having good character. He also has a masters degree in ministry and is very active with church and ministering to the homeless at a nearby homeless shelter.I have based this article from his lessons with his permission and I have also added information and insights from my perspective also. I hope you are able to take the information from this article and take it to heart and allow God to change you and to stop fighting Him. Here we go!
There are two perspectives of Character: 1) Personal and 2) Relational
1) Who we are. How we behave when no one is looking.
2) Being honest even when you don’t have to be. (Behavior patterns; what you repeatedly do all the time consciously and even subconsciously) Behavior patterns reveals character.
3) The sum and total of a persons’ choices. The sum and total of decisions define a person.
Perspectives: ( Personal and Relational )
1) Personal: We value good character in others first, we see others peoples and notice their character flaws first before we will see our own, if we even look for them in us at all.
2) Relational: The willingness to do what is right as God defines what is right regardless of the cost. Most of us are more concerned with satisfying our own urges than we are developing and keeping good character.
Character is relational. Psychologically, for the most part, we choose people like us to hang out with. Who are you hanging out with that is enforcing, encouraging, or rewarding your bad character behaviors? Bad character behaviors feed the core of bad character.
•Analogy of an engine: Remove the oil and the friction builds up and soon thereafter the engine will seize up.Good Character is the oil of all relationships.
Paradigm of Character (Oil of relationships)
-We often put our desires for a short term “pleasure (sin)” over good character. Our desires also reveal the quality or lack thereof of our charcter.
-Proverbs ch. 11: (Balances and Scales) God abhors dishonest gains. We need to have balanced scales with how we treat everyone.
God guides us when we’re engaged in the process of maintaining good character. He helps us to make wise and good decisions.He helps to do what’s right in His eyes, He reveals our motives to us and guides us to make decisions from the proper motives. Two motives that we make decisions from often:
1) We are afraid of the consequences only to ourself……eventually we will not be afraid of the consequences of our behaviors (sins) any longer. (BAD CHARACTER).
2) It is the right thing to do (we know it is right in the eyes of God) Doing the right thing in Gods’ eyes, we will not have negative cons-equences to endure that come from our sin.
(INTEGRITY)Proverbs 11:1-3: God uses good character to guide us. -- We need to take on the character of Jesus Christ.
-Godly character cannot be manufactured by us without Christ. (John 15:4-5)
-Godly character is produced in us by Jesus Christ, by us abiding in Jesus. (Phil 2: 12-13 )
-We need Jesus Christ living in us to have good character. Fruit of the Spirit is a result of good character and maturity; Love, Joy, Peace, Gentleness, Self-control, etc…
As human beings and particularly men, we have a tendency to show off our strengths and hide our weaknesses from others, and we rarely address our weaknesses.
We need to have the desire in us to let God work on us (from the inside) and not just remove the external unwanted experiences and our perspectives of our external circumstances.
•“Unsinkable people” ; The people who let God transform their heart, soul, and mind,allowing the transformation of their inside life which will transform their outer life.
- 2 Cor. 4:16 “…we are being renewed day by day”
- Titus 3:5 “…He saved us through the washing and rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit”
- Col 3:9 “…since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of the creator.”
- Romans 12:2 “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
The renewal process requires us to be active participants. You can’t stand on the sidelines and expect transformation and blessings when you haven’t committed to God to allow Him to transform you. Just like a renewal project on a piece of furniture or a car, ALL of the old material needs to be removed in a harsh painful manner from us,(Removing our old toxic perspectives and bad character traits) By now you might have asked yourself, "What can I do?"
- Ask yourself on a continual basis and investigate: “What areas keep tripping me up and keep me small with bad character?” Short term gratifications lower perspective.Your desires influence your character also, pay attention to your inner desires and their source.
Is self gratification a high priority for you? ( Examples: thought life, winning, physical acts of pleasure; psychological and physical comfort, food, intercourse, fornication, etc)
- Make conscious efforts to retrain your mind to look at things in yourself and in your life from Christ’s perspective. His ways are better than our ways, we all seem to know that, but we fight His ways constantly.
- Work in your thinking to understand that bad character correlates into bad habits and poor decision making habits. Good decisions are mostly made as a result of having good character. Our beliefs always determine our behavior. New beliefs equal new behaviors.
-Colosians 3:8-10 list of things that need to be removed from us in order for us to have some degree of good character. When unexpected “negative” circumstances and events come into our lives, our character is again revealed by how we respond to those events. We need to decide at those points if we will react or if we will respond. A person of bad character unconsciously reacts (no conscious or moral control) to “negative” unexpected events.
A person of better character (closer to good character of Christ), consciously responds with control of thought and emotions; much closer to the manner that would honor Christ Jesus. Make a better choice.
Bad character conceals bad behaviors. The sinful mind spends an over-whelmingly majority of it’s time and energy concealing our dishonest works, it doesn’t want us to admit thatwe are sinful or that we have a choice to choose Jesus Christ as our Savior to help us out of our sinful state of existence. Through Jesus Christ alone will we ever have any power to resist sin. You can try to build up your character by yourself and you will fail. A sinful mind and flesh has no power to make itself sinless, nor can a corrupt mind come up with solutions to fix your life problems that was originally created from the corrupted sinful mind from the beginning.
Would you take advice from someone whose mind and life is more screwed up than yours? If no, then why do you accept the suggestions from your corrupt sinful mind that is telling you how to fix yourself and fix your life when it was your mind that came up with the last set of crummy ideas that didn’t work? Think about it for a while. Only Jesus can fix you and your life. You may have tried for years to do “it” yourself, tried to fix yourself through self help materials and law of attraction books and videos. Those didn’t work did they? Don’t you think it’s about time you give up what your carnal sinful mind tells you to do and to finally make the one and only decision that will work for you? Accept Jesus and allow Him to work in you.
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