Summary: In this sermon you will consider the importance of developing a Christ honoring character.
It is necessary at times to give extra attention to components of our lives. Sometimes it may be your weight. Sometimes it may be a health issue. Sometimes it may be an emotional issue. However, one aspect of our lives should receive life time attention. That is our character.
What kind of story is your character communicating? Each of our lives are telling a story. Some stories are good. Some stories are bad. Some stories have a happy ending. Some stories have a sad ending. We have a choice in how that story turns out. Your character will affect the telling of your story. We find a challenging truth on this subject in I Tim. 4:12. Paul tells Timothy to “Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” Your life story will be based on your character. Paul instructs Timothy to guard his character.
I want to ask three questions as we examine this text. Why be concerned about your character? What will a Godly character accomplish? What are the traits that make up a Godly character?
I. The first question is: Why be concerned with your character?
A. Some people might say “character is not important.” “Does it really matter?” If you study the Bible you come to understand that character is tremendously important. It matters to God. Consider these scriptures.
“be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, ” Phil. 2:15 RSV
“For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience that we have behaved in the world, and still more toward you, with holiness and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God”. II Cor. 1:12 RSV
“BLESSED ARE those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! ” Ps. 119:1 RSV
B. Your character defines your life. To illustrate the importance of character I am going to call out some names. I want you to identify the first thing you remember about these people. By calling these names I am not judging these people and the final chapter of their lives. Each of them may have ended or will end life as a saint. However, the shortcomings of their character left a huge scar on their lives. All of us have scars on our lives. These scars come from poor decisons and sinful mistakes. I am so glad that God helps us to start over and He forgives us for our failures. These individuals, like us, need or needed to find a new beginning. They illustrate how character defines a life.
II. What will a Godly character accomplish?
A. Your character gives strength to your words. In our text Paul instructs Timothy to preach and teach the word. (see vs. 11). If you are trying to share your faith but your actions invalidate your words then you have wasted your words. Your actions legitimize your words. We need people who will legitimize the gospel. I once heard someone say “What you are speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say.”