Pastor's Corner: Wise character qualities
Last updated 4/25/2023 at 6:04am | View PDF
Most of us every day want to put on fresh clothes. After one day, we want to take off the old and put on the new. This same picture is used for Christians putting off the old fleshly qualities we lived in before putting on our new righteous character qualities in Christ (Ephesians 4:20-24). Biblical wisdom is tied to Christlike character qualities that transform the heart and character. Biblical wisdom is characterized by truth, purity, gentleness, peacefulness, reasonableness, mercy and sincerity as Christians are a character witness to all (Proverbs 3:3-4; James 3:17-18).
Be truthful. “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are His delight.” (Proverb 12:22). Wise Christians should be committed to telling the truth, even if it is hard or costly. The way of the world is to lie when it is most personally beneficial. But lies obscure the truth for everyone, degrade character and reputation, and can lead to broken relationships. The wise Christian is highly sensitive about honesty, truthfulness and integrity in every area of life, precisely because God is watching and is pleased by the truth (Proverbs 11:3).
Be gentle. “Whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” (Proverbs 14:31b). Gentleness refers to loving care that is soft, tender, and considerate toward others. We prize gentleness when we see its opposites: harshness, rudeness, brutality, abruptness, being rough and gruff. Christians are to be clothed with gentleness, kindness and compassion (Ephesians 4:2; 32; Col 3:12). Gentleness should be a tremendous testimony for Christ in this harsh world. Wise Christians live out this profound command with countless opportunities every day to be gentle (James 3:13).
Be humble. Humility is an exalted virtue of wisdom and Christian character (Phillipians 2:3-11). "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble there is wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2). Christian humility is a lowliness of mind in Christ that looks to love, help and serve others first. The humble Christian is prayerful and repentant, thankful for God’s grace and goodness, and tremendously dependent on God for strength to serve (Psalms 119:66; John 15:1-5). The humble person is thankful for correction, criticism and reproof, and is quick to admit fault and ask for forgiveness (Proverbs 9:8; 27:5-6; Ephesians 4:32). This kind of humility takes a changed mind and a transformed heart in Christ who helps us to truly live out this fruit of the Holy Spirit. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (Proverbs 3:34).
Be generous. “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” (Prov 11:24-25). The wise Christian knows that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). Nothing counters greed and materialism like generosity and charity. When you give, the receiver’s joy becomes your joy. Generosity does not only pertain to money and possessions, but to your time, talents and personal help as well. Many who are used to handouts desperately desire a personal helping hand from someone who genuinely cares. Don’t sell them or yourself short in your generosity. “God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor 9:7)
Biblical wisdom is adorned by Christlike character which we must put on every day. “Wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” (Matthew 11:19b)