Christian character, as discussed previously, is key to personal as well as corporate growth for Christians.
Of course, Christian character starts with the choice to become a disciple of Jesus Christ.
A disciple of Jesus Christ is:
- Someone who follows Jesus Christ.
- Someone who values the salvation of his/her soul more than anything else.
- Someone who has offered himself/herself entirely to God.
When you become a disciple, meaning that you’ve done the above, you need to embrace a certain way of life.
This new lifestyle comes out of values you’ve got to embrace.
The Bible, as a whole, talks about these values. But, you hear about them in the Gospels through Jesus.
One place in the Bible (New Testament) you find them is in Matthew with focus on chapters 5, 6 and 7. We refer to these sections, in this Gospel according to Matthew, as the sermon on the mount.
For the sake of this article, however, I want us to reflect on Matthew 5: 2-12. You may have heard of the Beatitudes. In case you haven’t, I encourage you to read the above Scripture on your own.
What you read about, not only in chapter 5 but throughout the sermon on the mount (chapters 6 and 7), comes down to two things:
- KINGdom, and
All the statements, you read in Matthew 5: 2-12, starts with the word, blessed.
What does that mean?
Christian character has to do with God’s Kingdom and God’s blessing.
Jesus, when it comes to the beatitudes (Matthew 5: 2-12), talks about eight values you and I need to embrace.
These eight values help us be, and not do.
God’s redeeming plan for all humankind isn’t about doing but becoming.
Read this Scripture,
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1: 12-13. NIV.
We become disciples of Jesus Christ by faith and through grace, not so that we do stuff, but we become God’s witnesses and members of God’s Kingdom here on earth.
Know your values
What are these values you need to embrace?
Here’s how I list them, based on Matthew 5: 2-12,
Embracing the above values will predispose you to experience God’s blessing in your life.
These values also make God’s Kingdom so real in you to the point that people can also see it through you.
Know these values by heart
Here’s what happens next once you make these values as a part of your daily living as a Christian:
- They shape your character.
- They enable you to receive God’s blessing.
- They help you see God.
- They help people around you see God.
These values represent a way of life that’s pleasing to God
God’s blessing doesn’t have to do with what you can do!
It’s more about what God can for and in you. God’s blessing is also about what God can do through you for God’s Kingdom.
God’s blessing gives you the following:
- Peace with God, self, and others.
- A quiet spirit, which allows you to experience personal transformation through God’s grace and growth.
- Happiness. The word that translates into “blessed are …” in Matthew 5 can also be translated into “happy are …”
- Freedom to be, love and serve God and the people.
These values also give you a lifestyle that’s pleasing to God.
In case you know your Bible, or don’t, I encourage you at least to memorize the values Jesus shares with us through Matthew 5. Know them by heart and practice them in your everyday living. Keep in mind, however, that the kind of character God wants you to have is grounded into humbling ourselves under Christ and longing for God’s righteousness. That’s the only way to experience personal transformation and eventually embrace Christian character.