Nov 22, 2011

5 Godly Character Traits that Will Benefit You and Your Family

Biblical Teaching
Have you ever heard someone who criticizes the Bible as an outdated book? It is a rather common objection by those without much education or by those who have been trained in a hostile, anti-supernatural, humanistic educational environment. In chapter three of Proverbs Solomon provides some insight into the value of living with Godly character. Yet one preliminary key must be noted. The entire context is about a child receiving parental instruction. Parental instruction cannot be underestimated in its value or its benefit. Grave harm is done today when fathers fail to lead their family, especially children through instruction.  Jesus showed parents how to make disciples through the instruction of His own disciples.
1. First, there is need for the truth taught to be retained. He says, “do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments.” The benefit of retaining the truth over one’s life will then produce a longer life and more peaceful life (Proverbs 3:1-2). 
Second, there is a methodology in how one can gain favor and success with both God and man. A godly person will make “love and faithfulness” the essence to how they live their life (Proverbs 3:3-4). Yet let us properly define love and faithfulness here, since so few really understand the concepts. Love is doing what is good or best for another either through grace and mercy or through justice and discipline. Faithfulness is doing that which is believed and confessed. Therefore, if a person builds their life upon love and then lives out that belief and confession faithfully it will lead to favor with others and with God. 
Third, a life based upon trust in the almighty sovereignty of God is essential to one’s life being well ordered or straight. There always has been, and still is today, hatred to the idea of the Lordship of God. The idea that he governs, controls, and rules even the decisions of man is opposed by Satan and all of his disciples. To trust “in the LORD with all your heart” (Proverbs 3:5-6) means to see and believe everything is rightfully being ruled by God’s absolute providence. 
Fourth, humility must be exercised if one wants to experience health (Proverbs 3:7-8). That may sound like an odd statement. But more and more scientists and medical researchers are finding that inner attitudes and emotions actually do affect our physical bodies. Dr. Don Colbert (M.D.), a family medical doctor, has said, “Through the years, the scientific studies linking the emotions and disease have produced an impressive body of research, all of which points to the conclusion that what we feel as emotions results in how we feel physically” (Deadly Emotions, p. 9). His work goes on to show the holistic connection between emotions and disease. Thus, living in a spirit of pride will lead to health issues and living in humility will be a healing agent for the body. 
Fifth, a generous spirit will lead to God making sure you “are filled with plenty” (Proverbs 3:9-10). When one trusts the Lord with what he has been given he will use that to serve others. And thus God will provide for the one who has a generous heart.
Practical Application for the Family
A leader over a family must first seek to develop in character. The inner heart, one’s image or character, defines the essence of a person. I have met many people who are brilliant in their respective fields of life, yet they lack the heart of love, the heart of character. I have met many in the realm of intelligentsia yet they lack the inner depth of character and thus they use their knowledge for the wrong purposes. Many of the splits in denominations, churches, and even among business owners, family, and friends have taken place not per se because of different doctrinal or ideological convictions but because those convictions were carried forth in ways that were void of Christ-like character. Examine your heart. Look at the test clauses as I call them in these verses. The second or third phrase in each biblical clause in verses 1-10 has a test or a verification clause. 


If you generally want to know how you are doing in your walk with the Lord ask yourself the following questions: 
(1) Am I living in such a way that I will likely live a long life of peace? 
(2) Are you seeing success in your life with others or do you have broken relationships over and over?
(3) Do you have a clearly defined and straight mission for life or are you bouncing around from one goal to another, from one relationship to another with no clear direction towards a well defined goal.
(4) Do you experience humility that leads to a relaxed state of health? 
(5) Do you see and sense God’s physical provisions for you? Take time to pray and examine ways you can with the Lord’s grace strengthen your character.
Dr. Keith Sherlin
Article from Disciple Like Jesus 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent article! I love the quiz at the end.

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