A.1. How is Character formed?
When God controls our lives, He produces His fruits or attributes in our characters (Thesis). But if we allow Satan to be in control, he will either produce the direct opposite of God’s fruits (Antithesis) in our characters or a compromise (Synthesis). Either of these alternatives is less than God’s best and prevents us from becoming what He wants us to be. God created us with a will, intellect, and emotions. Satan will try to influence these three faculties to condone evil thoughts (intellect), to yield to what feels good (emotions), or to act upon what we want rather than what we know is right (will). To develop actual Christian character traits, we must not walk according to the flesh but the Spirit. It means bringing every thought (intellect) into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Submitting our feelings (emotions) to the scrutiny of the Word of God to see if they are in accord with His desire for us, and yielding our wills to the Spirit’s control so that we obey instantly and joyfully God’s revealed Will for us in His Word (will). As our mind, emotions, and will, are brought into the service of the Holy Spirit who lives within us through obedience to God’s Word, the works of the flesh will not manifest in our bodies. Instead, Christian character traits will be formed in our lives.
A.2. How to Develop Character:
1. Recognize the Influence of Your Environment
Your home, parents, school, church, job, government, and friends have a significant influence on you. Some of that influence occurred when you were only a child and cannot be erased. However, by careful regulation of your current lifestyle, one can overcome it.
2. The Holy Spirit—The Chief Agent
The Holy Spirit can transform any Christian’s life into a life that will please God. Trust Him to do miracles in you. 2 Cor. 3:18 emphasizes this: But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
3. The Word of God—the Chief Tool
Unless we are consistently looking to God through His Word to guide us in our decisions and thought, we can never expect continuing character growth to take place. A Christian must continue in the Word of God to have a disciple’s Character. John 8:31 “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in ‘My’ word, you are ‘My’ disciples indeed.”