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Christian Character

Updated on July 4, 2013
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I am a Christian pastor who wishes to bring glory to God in all that I do, and to help people through my writing to know Him better.

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Character Counts!

It was the American author Sheldon VanAuken who said:

"The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians--when they are sombre and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths."

The truth is that we need more men and women of character. We have to have more who are not grieving and quenching the indwelling Holy Spirit in their lives, but are seeking to allow Him to develop the Fruit of the Spirit in them. Not perfect people. But people who are searching for God's will and not simply seeking a fire escape from Hell. Our society is literally starving for more who practice what they preach and those who refuse to compromise their integrity. We are desperate for persons who mean what they say and say what they mean, and whose word is their bond.

I. Doers of the Word

I like what James 1:22 tells us: "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." This is such a practical verse. On the surface, it looks simple. But underneath, it is a command that will take us the rest of our lives to implement. As with all things, Christianity has many who start well and finish poorly. I love it when a person can come to the end of his or her life and say with the Apostle Paul:

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith" (II Timothy 4:7).

II. Demonstrators of Transformation

Jesus, in John 3 talked about the new birth. Those who are of the world are dead in trespasses and sins (Ehpesians 2:1). They are spiritual corpses, unable to do anything to please God. When we are saved, we are made alive. We become new creatures in Christ Jesus (II Corinthians 5:17).

Now we have the ability to live a triumphant life. We have a new nature that can live in obedience to God's will. It won't be a perfect life, as long as we are not in our glorified bodies. This will only occur when Christ returns. However, we are capable of growing in grace and becoming more and more like Jesus. We can grow into much more than most of us actually do. Way too many of us choose to live well below our status. And that is a shame.

Ideally we can become living demonstrations of the transformed life that Jesus Christ offers us. We may live as a light in the dark world around us. All Christians are capable of being the salt of preservation in an otherwise putrefying society . Instead too many turn into a part of the world system out of which they have been taken.

Conclusion

I hear numerous Christians complain about the decaying of our society, and the fact that no one seems to possess character any more. However, before we confront our society, we need to look in the mirror and see the changes that still have to take place in our own lives. We cannot make the world change, but we can live out the changed life the Lord has made possible for us by the cross.

We believers have to take away the excuse that many unbelievers give for their not taking the message of the cross seriously. That reason is that the Church is full of hypocrites.


It was A. B. Simpson who wrote: "The chief danger of the Church today is that it is trying to get on the same side as the world, instead of turning the world upside down. Our Master expects us to accomplish results, even if they bring opposition and conflict. Anything is better than compromise, apathy, and paralysis. God, give to us an intense cry for the old-time power of the Gospel and the Holy Ghost."

It has been said that: "The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to Him." It is my prayer that a few good men and women will step up and take that challenge. Our culture, here in America, and around the world, is in serious need of revival. May we who care about these things be the change that we hope to see occur.


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      Jeff Shirley 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thanks MsDora. It is my prayer to be more like what I've written about as well. And thanks also lifegate. You're right. Jesus' true disciples live out what they profess. There are far too many who are Christians in name only. God bless you and your ministry.

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      William Kovacic 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Well said GodTalk,

      The shallowness of many's Christianity is summed up in your line, "But people who are searching for God's will and not simply seeking a fire escape from Hell." Being a disciple calls for "living it out", not just adding a title to an otherwise unchanged life. Let's all live it out and make a difference!

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      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      I love the VanAuken quote. My prayer is to be the kind of Christian you write about--a doer and a demonstrator. God help us! Thanks for the rebuke and the encouragement.

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      Jeff Shirley 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thanks sheilamyers. That is a good quote, and captures the thoughts of this Hub very well.

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      sheilamyers 4 years ago

      Very well said GodTalk! Also celafoe and lemmor. I can't remember who said it, but I use the line all the time. "We can't expect to heal the world until we heal the church." As long as people see Christians who "talk the talk but don't walk the walk" they won't see any reason for having to make any changes or become followers of Christ.

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      Jeff Shirley 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      That is true. Thanks.

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      lemmor11 4 years ago

      People should not look into other people, instead fix their eyes on the Master Himself. People will fail you, even pastors and priests will fail you. But HE wont.

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      Jeff Shirley 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thanks for your input celafoe.

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      charlie 4 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth. between the oceans

      the real problem is as you say need for examples. and most of the hypocracy that is chasing people away is in the leadership. The majority of those professing to be leaders are just hirelings and do not serve as Christ taught. They get a degree and then a job.

      True Godly leaders are not worried about the paycheck, or the number of attendees or how fancy a building , but are concerned with SERVING God's people. True Godly leaders,lead by example in all things. True Godly leaders dont teach church doctrine , but scriptural doctrine. True Godly leaders do not need approval from man, but seek approval from God alone. True Godly leaders attack sin but love the people. True Godly leaders are BOND SERVANTS OF CHRIST as Paul taught. Godly leadership is true servant hood -serving not being served.

      Yes Jesus please send us some true Godly leaders and remove these hireling usurpers from the place where people are seeking truth.