As Christians, we desire to live a life that is pleasing to God. We seek to imitate Christ and reflect His image in every aspect of our lives. One of the ways we can do this is by developing godly character. But what exactly is godly character, and how can we cultivate it in our lives?
In this blog post, we will explore what the Bible says about godly character and provide practical steps for developing it in our daily lives. We will examine the virtues that form the foundation of godly character and the importance of the Holy Spirit‘s work in transforming us from the inside out. We will also look at practical ways we can seek God’s will, study His Word, pray, serve others, and practice forgiveness and self-control to develop godly character.
Developing godly character is not just a matter of following a set of rules or behaving in a certain way. It is about allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us from the inside out, so that we reflect the image of Christ in our attitudes, actions, and behavior. As we seek to develop godly character, we become more like Christ and are better equipped to fulfill His purposes for our lives.
What is Godly Character?
The Bible teaches that godly character is the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23). It is the outworking of our relationship with God, which transforms us from the inside out. A person with godly character is one who reflects the image of Christ in their attitudes, actions, and behavior.
In 2 Peter 1:5-7, we are encouraged to add to our faith the following virtues: “virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.” These virtues form the foundation of godly character and are developed through our relationship with God.
Godly character is not something we can manufacture or develop on our own. It is a result of the Holy Spirit working in us, transforming us into the image of Christ. As we surrender our lives to God and allow Him to work in us, we will begin to see the fruit of the Spirit manifesting in our lives.
How Can We Develop Godly Character?
Developing godly character requires intentional effort and a willingness to submit to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Here are some practical steps we can take to cultivate godly character:
1. Seek God First
Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). The first step in developing godly character is to seek God with all our hearts. We need to prioritize our relationship with Him above all else and make Him the center of our lives.
As Christians, we can easily get caught up in the things of this world and lose sight of our ultimate goal, which is to know and love God more each day. Seeking God first means making time for Him in our daily lives, through prayer, reading the Bible, and attending church. When we make God our top priority, everything else falls into place.
2. Study God’s Word
God’s Word is the foundation of our faith and the source of wisdom for developing godly character. As we study the Bible, we gain a deeper understanding of who God is and what He desires for our lives. We also learn from the examples of faithful men and women in the Bible who demonstrated godly character.
In Psalm 119:11, the psalmist says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” When we study God’s Word, we are storing up treasures in our hearts that can guide us in our daily lives. It is through the Bible that we learn about God’s character and His plan for our lives.
3. Pray Continually
Prayer is essential for developing godly character. It is through prayer that we communicate with God and receive His guidance and direction for our lives. We should make it a habit to pray continually, seeking God’s will in every situation.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Paul exhorts us to “pray without ceasing.” This does not mean that we should be constantly speaking words of prayer, but rather that we should be in a continual state of dependence on God. We should bring our needs, worries, and joys to God in prayer, and also seek His wisdom and guidance in all that we do. Prayer helps us to develop a deeper relationship with God and grow in our faith.
4. Surround Yourself with Godly People
Proverbs 13:20 says, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.” Surrounding ourselves with godly people who can encourage us and hold us accountable is essential for developing godly character. We should seek out mentors and friends who share our desire to grow in Christ-likeness.
When we spend time with people who are focused on living for God, we are more likely to be encouraged in our own faith and challenged to grow. Being part of a community of believers who are committed to living for God can help us to stay accountable in our walk with Him and provide us with support and encouragement when we face challenges.
5. Practice Self-Control
Self-control is a key component of godly character. It is the ability to resist temptation and make wise choices. We can develop self-control by practicing discipline in every area of our lives, including our thoughts, speech, and behavior.
In Galatians 5:16-17, Paul says, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another.” When we rely on the Holy Spirit to help us overcome temptation, we can develop self-control and resist the desires of the flesh.
6. Serve Others
Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Serving others is a hallmark of godly character. When we serve others, we demonstrate the love of Christ and put the needs of others before our own. We can look for opportunities to serve in our church, community, or workplace.
In Matthew 25:40, Jesus says, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” When we serve others, we are serving Christ Himself. Serving others helps us to develop a servant’s heart and grow in our love for God and others.
7. Practice Forgiveness
Forgiveness is another essential component of godly character. We are called to forgive others as Christ has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32). Practicing forgiveness involves letting go of bitterness and resentment towards those who have wronged us. It also means seeking forgiveness when we have wronged others.
In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus says, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Forgiveness is not always easy, but it is essential for cultivating godly character and growing in our relationship with God and others.
8. Be Humble
Proverbs 22:4 says, “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.” Humility is a key characteristic of godly character. It involves recognizing our dependence on God and putting others before ourselves. We can cultivate humility by acknowledging our weaknesses and relying on God’s strength.
In Philippians 2:3-4, Paul says, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” When we practice humility, we are following Christ’s example of putting others first and living a life of service.
In summary, godly character is the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. It is the outworking of our relationship with God and reflects the image of Christ in our attitudes, actions, and behavior. Developing godly character requires intentional effort and a willingness to submit to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We can cultivate godly character by seeking God first, studying His Word, praying continually, surrounding ourselves with godly people, practicing self-control, serving others, practicing forgiveness, and being humble.
As we develop godly character, we become more like Christ and are better equipped to fulfill His purposes for our lives. We are called to be salt and light in the world, and our godly character is a powerful witness to those around us. Let us make it our goal to develop godly character and live a life that is pleasing to God. As 1 Peter 1:15-16 says, “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.'”
In conclusion, developing godly character is not an easy process, but it is essential for living a life that is pleasing to God. It requires intentional effort and a willingness to submit to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. By seeking God first, studying His Word, praying continually, surrounding ourselves with godly people, practicing self-control, serving others, practicing forgiveness, and being humble, we can cultivate godly character and become more like Christ.
Let us make it our goal to develop godly character and live a life that reflects the image of Christ. As we do so, we will be better equipped to fulfill God’s purposes for our lives and be a witness to those around us. As Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”