How to Build Character Quickly

How to Build Character Quickly

Stop wondering how to build character and find simple encouragement and directions from the Word...

Tags: build character, Romans, Lincoln, how to build character


Have you wondered how to build character?

Have you ever thought about building character being a choice?

I suppose that even I would rather believe that it just magically happens. To some extent, I want to blindly believe my personal walk puts another piece in the puzzle of outstanding character every day.

The problem, however, is that when I truly reflect by the end of the day on my attitudes and behaviors, I often find less-than-honorable features of my character. Hmmm… Am I really doing a good job of building character?

This dilemma is exactly why, when reading through the book of Romans recently, Chapter 5 spoke deeply to me. You may already know Romans 5:2-5 (”…And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”)

Until reading this recently, I had never even thought about suffering as a route to character! However, as I thought more about this, as is typical, I found the Word so profoundly true!

Let me share an example from American history. Abraham Lincoln is thought of as a man of great character – I know of no one who would argue otherwise. While there were many great qualities of this early US president (i.e., amazing public speaker, prolific reader and writer, etc.), one of his greatest qualities was how he responded to times of great trial and suffering. Indeed, his great narrative to free the South from slavery is only a summary of hundreds of smaller moments of great suffering. For example, his own top generals would periodically betray his own military orders, prolonging war at times!

Let me share examples from our modern time. After reflecting on what this verse enlightened me to, I am now finding dozens of opportunities to build my character through my own “suffering”. These moments can be as small as not complaining about not sleeping well over night or losing patience with my kids. They can also be as big as being betrayed by a coworker on a recent project or being betrayed by a loved one. It is in these moments that we can control our RESPONSE to the situation. We can quite literally choose to respond with great character, or find ourselves trapped in recycled sin.

I am grateful for God opening my eyes to another “absolute truth”. I encourage you to think about this in your own life, as well. It may help you build your own character, and even welcome some “suffering” as an opportunity to build and demonstrate your great character in ways you could never even thought were possible.

Please share your own thoughts, successes, and trials in building your own character below…

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