the pattern of behavior or personality found in an individual or group;
moral strength; self-discipline, fortitude, etc.
a statement about the behavior, qualities, etc. of a person
This is what the world view/definition of character is: A person of good character is respectful, honest and trustworthy. Of course the opposite of that must be true for a person of bad character. How does the person treat their family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors? The way we learn what type of character a person has is evidenced in their actions, the way they conduct themselves and the way they treat others.
I would agree with that, however; I think that character goes a lot deeper than that and it makes me think about the fact that we are not born with this attribute, are we? Are we born respectful, honest, trustworthy?
I don’t think we could determine that of an infant, but any mother of a toddler can tell you that you don’t have to teach a child to be dishonest. You find them covered in lipstick and you say, “Did you do this?” that “innocent” child will look you right in the eye while holding the lipstick and say in a sweet little voice, while shaking her head: “no mommy.” I remember when my kids were little and they were told not to touch, they would look you in the eye and defiantly touch, as if to say, Ha! “Innocent” children do not need to be taught to be dishonest or defiant.
In Romans 3:23 we read that all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.
If we continue to read however there is a word of hope…”Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Rom.3:24)
As Christians our character is developed by the work of the Holy Spirit in us.
“We also have joy with our troubles,because we know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us.” — Romans 5:1-6
Our character is shaped by our reactions to the experiences that we have each day, we choose our reactions and our actions. When troubles are before us how do we react? Some of our troubles are small some are large and sometimes it seems neverending. When we are faced with challenges and situations that truly test us we are developing our character. Depending on our relationship with God, we can triumph in adversity, or the challenges can triumph over us.
“For no one can lay any other foundation than the one we already have-Jesus Christ. Now anyone who builds on that foundation may use gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay or straw. But there is going to come a time of testing at the judgement day to see what kind of work each builder has done. Everyone’s work will be put through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value.” I Cor. 3:11-13