Character Comment – What is Christian Character? Part 3 (2+2=5)

What is Christian Character?  Part 3 (2+2=5)

We have been exploring an essay by Dr. Richard J. Krejcir entitled “What is Christian Character?” In essence we have noted that Character Education is more than training hearts and teaching minds; there is a spiritual dimension to this education for life. In our TEAMwork of watering and nurturing the planted seeds, our lot is not unlike that of the patient farmer who waits for the harvest—in our case, the blessed Fruit of the Spirit—which comes in due season. Life itself is a mystery, and yet we can consistently see the wonders of our God. Delicate but powerful elements of creation come together, synergies of material and immaterial marvelously combine to form amazing things. And as we concluded last week, as the Fruit of the Spirit works together, becoming more in total, it is the third person of the Trinity who animates the lessons we teach, eventually bring forth the peaceable fruit of righteousness.

Having said this, we must keep in mind that TEAMwork means teaching, encouraging, advocating, and modeling what the Character Advocate desires to instill. The comments below are targeted to that end.

What is Christian Character? Continued By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir

“Character is what you are in the dark.” D.L. Moody

Our Character summarizes the essence of our walk with Christ being exhibited back to Him and then onto others. Our Character can grow or shrivel as our growth and faith formation in Christ is applied or blocked. Thus, Character is the display case of Christ and shows others our entire lives as Christians. Character is the springboard from which all we do and say in life comes.

Developing Biblical character in the face of our daily life and even in adversity is essential and the proof text that we have a growing relationship with Christ! Character is not just having integrity or honesty or doing the right thing; it is not one aspect or even a few; it is a living, growing relationship in Christ which produces a synergistic combination of the fruits of the Spirit.

In other words, Character is foundational. We will look more to what is meant by this in the next installment. But for now, it is December, and our efforts shift to a new Character Trait: Respect.

The memory verses will be 1 Peter 2:17; Philippians 2:3; and 1 Timothy 4:12. The Characters and Creatures examples will be David and Saul in 1 Samuel 26, the American Bison, and Jackie Robinson of baseball fame. As outlined in our handbook, the focus is reverence for God and authorities; respect for and dignity of others, including self-respect. Lots of food for dinner table conversation in the month of December!


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Character Comment -What is Christian Character? Part 2 (2+2=5)

What is Christian Character? Part 2 (2+2=5)

In the last Character Comment, I started sharing a lengthy essay by Dr. Richard J. Krejcir, entitled, “What is Christian Character?” He opened his essay with the challenge that Real, authentic Christian character is formed by our commitment to Christ. That might be somewhat problematic for us as Character Advocates in our stated goal to develop habits of the heart in our children as we train hearts and teach minds in education for life. It would appear, according to Dr. Krejcir, that there is another necessary dimension beyond the academic and educational drill. But again, as we’ve been learning, appearances may be deceiving; what might seem to be a problem, may in fact be a grand opportunity. So let’s see what else our essay has to say.

What is Christian Character? Continued By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir

“Character is what you are in the dark.” D.L. Moody

It is imperative that when we say we are a follower of Christ, our character and behaviors reflect Him and His call to us to the best of our abilities, which includes our temperament. If we are in leadership, this is even more imperative! We demonstrate Character and integrity when we do what we say and act out what we believe; if not, we are hypocrites, and woe to us for being one (Matt. 23)!

Our call is to do as we teach, to do as we say, and to act as we teach others to act. Integrity is of the utmost importance for the Christian leader (1 Thess. 2: 10-12; 2 Peter 1-11)! Why? Because, hypocrisy gives people a false impression of God! Insincerity gives people a false impression of who we are called to be; it nullifies integrity and character! Because, God is holy, righteous and just, God exercises grace. We do not want to be like the Pharisees, who were worshipping, not the God of the Jews and the Law, but a made-up god which suited their own thoughts and pride (Psalm 103:1-14; 1 Pet. 5:10)! The willingness to model Christ’s character is far more vital for us today than the willingness to preach it. God want us to be authentic—not pretentious (2 Cor. 8:9)!

Character is often defined as a collection of personality traits within our behavior that shows who we are. This is shown in our integrity, attitude, moral fiber, disposition, and this shapes how we treat one another, good or bad. This is mostly true, but it goes much deeper than that. Character is who we are and it can be learned and built when we are in Christ. Moreover, real authentic Christian Character is not just a personality or our disposition; it is a description of who we are as a Christian, what we are called to be in our entirety. It encapsulates the Fruit of the Spirit from God’s love and work in us. A good effectual foundation of character is “synergistic” as each one hangs and functions with each other. It is built upon the Fruit of the Spirit which all of the other character traits are codependent and thus function and rest upon.      …to be continued

There are at least two things we can note from the above, both connected to the word “synergy.” Dr. Krejcir explains how the Fruit of the Spirit works in a synergistic way, becoming more in total when the identifiable parts function together. Then note, they are the Fruit of the Spirit; it is the third member of the Trinity who animates the lessons taught and brought to heart and mind in educating for life. As Character Advocates, we are not alone in our task of TEAMwork. We have a more than able ally in the synergistic task of building Christian Character.


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Circle of Friends Newsletter, 16.2

Here is our Circle of Friends Newsletter for November 2016, 16.2

To download a larger copy, click here ->Circle-of-Friends-16_02-nwsltr

Circle of Friends Membership Form: cof membership form

 


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