Christian character traits are robust, unlike the world’s frail moral values. The very fact that they have stood the test of many millennia proves their vigor even to the open-minded non-Christian. Their longevity does not explain their robustness. Evil has enjoyed nearly equal longevity. So why dare we call Christian character traits robust?
Origin of Robust Character Traits
Christian character traits are robust because they derive from God Himself. They form God’s basic nature – His essential character. We need look at only seven (7) of God’s inherent character qualities to understand this.
- God is LOVE:
“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (I John 4:8)
- God is PATIENCE:
“Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:” (Romans 15:5)
- God is PEACE:
“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” (Philippians 4:9)
- God is FAITHFUL:
“God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” (I Corinthians 1:9)
- God is KINDNESS:
“And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him?” (II Samuel 9:3)
- God is GOODNESS:
“Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually.” (Psalm 52:1)
- God is HONESTY:
“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” (Titus 1:2)
These and a host of other pure character qualities existed in God, and derived from God. In God, those traits of character are pure, strapping, iron-muscled qualities. He is the origin of Christian character traits and their embodiment.
By contrast, the character traits that our humanistic world commonly accepts are decrepit counterfeits sourced by Satan. No human can boast robust character traits as part of mankind’s basic nature. We can never say, “Humans are love; humans are patience; etc. Mankind is not the original source of even one character trait. We must glean character qualities from a source outside ourselves. The world rejects God’s robust character traits, shutting themselves up to Satan as the source. Settling for Satan’s badly-flawed, weak forgeries, they are deceived into thinking they possess strong character.
Receipt of Robust Character Traits
Not only did God possess robust Christian character traits in Himself, but He delivered them to mankind. He knit them into the fabric of mankind at Creation. He tells us that clearly when He says that He created man in His own image.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27)
God built into Adam the same robust character traits that God Himself enjoyed in His very essence! Adam did not have to put forth effort to get them. He received them FREE at birth!
Adam never had to plant character traits and nourish them until they matured sufficiently to be harvested and used. He did have to go out and buy them – or order them from the Internet. Adam did not need to learn those robust character traits either. Adam did not need to engage in a character-building program. God’s robust Christian character traits were in Adam the moment he first opened his eyes. As part of life itself, they were a gift from God.
Adam, as created, exercised love exactly as God intended him to exercise it. He acted to do what was best for God and for Eve, even if it meant sacrificing what he wanted. He felt deep, pure affection for both God and his wife Eve.
Adam, fresh from creation, exercised honesty in just the way God intended him to exercise it. He gave thoughtful attention to understanding what reality was in a given situation, and then acted to avoid any slightest attempt in word or deed to deceive God or others about the reality for even a moment.
The first man, created in God’s image, received the character image of God.
Loss of Robust Character Traits
Sadly, Adam lost those strong character traits when he sinned – and we lost them as a result. When Satan deceived Eve, she invited Adam to partake, and he sinfully ate the forbidden fruit, the essence of God’s character departed from him. He shut up himself and us to Satan’s sapless, wicked character qualities. We are in the same position, born in sin because of that momentous decision Adam made. We, too, have lost the character image of God.
Regaining Robust Character Traits
The end is not written in words of loss, however! Christian men and women can regain a great measure of the robust Christian character traits God gave to Adam. Those who fervently desire the strong character of God can build those qualities by relying on His Word.
In Part Two, we will look at how you can do that.