“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 Return on 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?