How often do we think about our character? I know I have been evaluating mines a lot recently. Character can be defined as the inherent complex of attributes that determine a persons moral and ethical actions and reactions. Our character is a major part of who we are and it determines how we act and react in every situation. We have all heard of character flaws, but many people are not up for the challenge to change or do not see the full benefits of perfecting their character. As for me, I want to have amazing character. I want great character more than I want anything tangible. More than diamonds, red bottoms, or a beach house in Spain; I want my character to be off the chain! Below I will share with you why I care about character so much and I will provide tips for how you can improve yours as well.
Why Care About Character?
One of the things that made me care more about my character is a bible verse.
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you”. (1 Timothy 4:12-13, 15-16)
This is the first verse I read after rededicated my life back to God. It was the first verse that the Holy Spirit illuminated and gave me revelation about. I know the context of this scripture and that Paul was speaking to Timothy, but when I read it I felt like God was speaking directly to me. I was 23 and embarking in new territory. All I knew is that I wanted to go deeper. When I read this text I said to myself “I want that.” I want to be a good example in my words, conduct, love, spirit, faith, and purity. I knew that God was calling me to be a good example and above average in my character. God was actually calling me to have a character like His. I knew it would be a challenge because I had many character flaws, but I also knew that God would help me to become the best version of myself. From this verse I knew that improving my character would not only benefit me, but it would help every one I come in contact with.
Tips On How to Improve Your Character
- Have a Made Up Mind
Improving your character takes a conscientious effort. The only thing that is guaranteed is that we will grow older, however growing wiser and growing in character is not promised. We have to work at our character. Saying I’m sorry a thousand times and living by the motto “I’m Not Perfect” is not going to help you improve your character. We know that no human is perfect so it would be nice for people to stop saying that and own up to their actions. You have to decide whether you want to change or not. That truly is the first step.
2. Make a List
Make a list of 5 areas you need to strengthen your character. You can write it down on paper, your phone notes, or do a mental list. You can also make a list of character traits that you like and want from observing other people. Maybe you see someone who is a social butterfly and you want to be more friendly. Maybe you observe a husband who lovingly visits his sick wife everyday and you want to be more patient and long-suffering. At my job there is a lady who is really forgiving like a cat lol. I say that because when I used to have a cat I would accidentally step on her tail sometimes and she would run off, then a few minutes later she would be back rubbing on my leg. Well when people do wrong by this lady at work she is quick to forgive them and a few minutes later she is laughing and mingling with them like nothing was ever wrong. By her being quick to forgive that keeps unwanted tension from our team. There are plenty of character traits out there to admire.
3. Pray Target Prayers
This step has worked for me a lot. Once I find an area where I am weak I pray about it until I change. One of the first areas I targeted was patience. I know a lot of us struggle with patience. For a while I was praying for more patience everyday and as tests were coming my way I was passing them. One time at work I was on the phone with a lady who had me on hold for a while and when she came back to me I was still friendly and calm. The rep was surprised at my patience. She said “Wow I need more patience but my grandpa said never pray for patience because a lot of tests will come your way.” Little did she know I had been praying that infamous prayer for patience and she was seeing the fruit of it. Don’t ever be afraid to pray for patience or any other areas where you need to improve. So what if you get tested; it is worth it to build your character.
As you grow in your character people will notice. In a world of corruption, good character can’t help but to stand out. I have been holding on to the part of the verse where it says ” that your progress may be evident to all.” That was great motivation for me. As you are in the process of improving your character and changing your life in general to become the best version of yourself, a lot of people won’t understand. Even the people closest to you will question you and say you’re acting brand new. Trust that as time goes on those same people are going to look at you in amazement because your growth will be evident and all they can say is “Wow your character is off the chain.”