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Summary: Christian Character is formed through a lifelong process that begins at the new birth experience. When a person gives their life to Christ, the Holy Spirit begins a process of developing His character traits within the soul of the individual. It’s not an

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By: Donna J. Kazenske

"Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny."

According to the above statement, our character has something to do with our destiny. Since our destiny is of such great importance, shouldn’t we be more than concerned about developing our character?

Character is defined as moral firmness, self control, integrity, truthfulness, honesty, commitment, purity, thoughtfulness, thankfulness, generosity, love, sharing, helpfulness, responsibility, thoroughness, trustworthiness, respect, fairness, courage, diligence, desire for excellence, perseverance, self discipline, determination, etc.

Christian Character is formed through a lifelong process that begins at the new birth experience. When a person gives their life to Christ, the Holy Spirit begins a process of developing His character traits within the soul of the individual. It’s not an instantaneous development, but a consistent lifelong process. While many wish their character could be transformed in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, the fact of the matter is that character transformation takes time.

Character development is similar to the formation of a pearl within the shell of an oyster or mollusk. The pearl is formed over a period of time as layers build up around some particle of sand or other irritant that has made its way into the mollusk’s shell. The oyster secretes a liquid called "Mother of Pearl" in order to protect itself from irritation. This liquid hardens and forms a smooth surface around the offending grain of sand or irritant. The layers created eventually produce a natural gem.

When irritating situations arise in our lives, the Lord wants to release His anointing as a protection against the wiles of the enemy. The Lord takes that which was once an irritating situation, releases His anointing in it, turns it into somethin g that works for our good and causes something beautiful to happen on the inside of us.

God allows times of suffering and trial to cause change to take place within our lives. He knows exactly what’s going on and the enemy can only go as far as the Lord will allow Him to go.

Remember the story of Job? It’s interesting to me that Satan began his first attack against Job’s character. The Lord told Satan that Job was a blameless and upright man, one who feared God and shunned evil. Satan tried his best to destroy Job’s character by destroying his property and by killing his children. He wanted to see how Job would react in a pressure situation. I’m sure that Satan was more than surprised when Job refused to curse God and blessed Him instead. Job’s character withstood the test of his lifetime.

How do you react in pressure situatio ns? Do you curse God and put your fist in His face commanding that He do something to deliver you or do you prostrate yourself before Him and ask for grace and mercy?

Pressure situations have a way of bringing out the best or the worst in every human being.

Deuteronomy 8:2 - "And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not."

God already knew what was in their hearts. He allowed them to go through this time of great testing so they could see what was really on the inside of them. He wanted them to see their own heart condition.

We might think we are super spiritual until a time of testing comes into our lives and God allows us to see what’s re ally in the deepest depths of our hearts.

I’ve been amazed at those times when venomous words have proceeded out of my mouth as a result of things not going my way. I didn’t expect pressure situations or suffering to come knocking on my door at such unexpected times, and when they did, I unleashed all the venom that was in my heart towards the situations. How did this kind of response make me feel afterwards? It caused me to see a dark place in my heart that I had never seen before. It brought understanding of what the Holy Spirit was trying to speak to me, and it caused me to cry out to God with a repentant heart and allow change to take place.

Sometimes the Lord allows us to go through situations because we are not grasping or understanding what He is attempting to speak to us. Sometimes He allows us to go through trials and trouble because He wants to make us more like Him. He’s more concerned with our character transformation than our success rate.

Gal. 4:19 - "My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you..."

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