How Character is Engraved

"...endurance produces character, and character produces hope..."—Romans 5:3-4 When God calls us to follow and serve Him, He also begins the process of building our character.

We cannot bypass character development.

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ,” Paul wrote to the Philippians (1:6).

When God calls us to Him, He begins a work in us that will cause us to love Him, long to know Him, follow Him, and serve Him.

In the process, He conforms us into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). He transforms us by renewing our minds (Romans 12:2). He takes a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), and molds us into a vessel which can be used for His glory (2 Timothy 2:21).

God wants us to be people whose strengths and capabilities come from Him. He wants us to be people who acknowledge that it is “in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). This is what character building is all about.

Sometimes the process is difficult, lengthy, puzzling, even painful—but necessary. The quality, depth, and strength of our character is a reflection of our relationship with the Lord. And nothing else in our lives matters more.

The word character comes from a root word that means “to tear, cut in, engrave, cut into furrows.” Character is formed through an engraving process, a process of having something cut into and indelibly marked into something else. It is the experiences, which are literally engraved into our souls that build our personalities, and influence our convictions, our desires, our actions—our character.

But this is not all left up to chance.

In His sovereignty, God orders all the steps of our lives. He never promised us smooth traveling. He allows bumps and twists and turns in the road—even a few dangerous pits. Through these circumstances, He teaches us, molds us, and most importantly, causes us to be more dependent upon Him.

With each new experience, another stroke of the Master’s chisel is engraved upon our souls, shaping us into the image of His Son, building in us the character that will experience God’s love and blessings.

 

DEVOTIONALSRay Bentley