“Character” is variously defined as: “The mental and moral qualities [or traits] distinctive to an individual; the way someone thinks, feels, and acts; moral excellence.” As Christians, we are called to “be” and “do” in obedience to God and to reflect as nearly as possible the character of Jesus. In doing so, we become “salt” to those around us, make a positive impact on the society in which we live, and enhance our Gospel testimony to the world. What are the character traits expected of a Christian, and how do we build those traits into our character?
Study the following biblical references and consider how they address the questions listed below. If using this outline with a Small Group, consider assigning different Scriptures to different individuals and relating them to one or more of the questions. Then scroll down the page to review our recommended resources for the topic of Godly Character and consider how the various articles or podcasts provide further insights relating to this topic.
Exodus 20:12-17; Matthew 5:3-12; Galatians 5:19-26; Colossians 3:5-17; Joshua 1:6; Proverbs 6:16-19; Micah 6:8; James 1:19-20, 3:13-18; Romans 5:3-5 (NIV); I Corinthians 15:33 (NIV); Ruth 3:11; Proverbs 31:10; the examples of Joseph (Genesis 37-50), Esther (Esther 1-9), and Daniel (Daniel 6)
- What are some of the main character traits that should be reflected in the lives of Christians? (Consider both those positively taught and those implied as opposites of those negatively listed.)
- What were the qualities in Ruth and the wife of Proverbs 31 that made them women of “noble character” (NIV)?
- What can be learned from the examples of Joseph, Esther, and Daniel? Other biblical examples, positive or negative?
- How does God work to build noble character into our lives? What can we do to facilitate this?
- What is the impact on us and others of living faithfully or unfaithfully the moral character expected of us by God and others?
The following resources are meant to get you started in the topic of Godly Character.
OCF offers many extra resources as you continue digging into the topic of Godly Character.
Part of an amazing lineage
Don’t you love it when the Lord reveals something new through His Word? I have read Matthew many times. And I’ll admit that I usually skim past the genealogy to get to the “meat” proclaiming the birth, life and good news about our Savior. Recently, however, my eyes were opened to two truths that penetrated my heart, ensuring that I will never again fast forward past these verses and forever ponder my lineage and legacy.
Part 1: Being a leader of character / Lead to serve, serve to lead
Our panel discusses how leaders can approach employing God’s Word effectively, integrating the calling to serve in uniform and the calling to serve the Lord, and leading in times of crisis. The cornerstone of being an effective leader who can do these three things well, they assert, is being a leader of character.
I Only See Green
The Son of God is many things to me, but racist is certainly not one of them. I see only green, my Savior sees only hearts.
Calling all Daniels: Stand firm in the faith
What does that look like today? How are you courageously standing firm personally and in your family? Are you modeling an integrated life of faith, family, and profession to your family, those around you personally, and in the workplace?
A Charge for New OCF Graduates
Live out the commission God has given you and you will shine in a dark world.