Character is a choice. It transcends education, training, and position. Character can’t be downloaded and you won’t get it by reading a book—it is built rather than bestowed.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was speaking of character when he said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
People of character are admired because they consistently do the right things for the right reasons. They do well in life. Character is synonymous with integrity, maturity, and moral wholeness.
The key to building your character is revealed in Romans 5:3-5. These verses were written for the person who has already accepted Jesus Christ and who understands the workings of his grace in times of abundance, as well as, in times of struggle.
Romans 5:3-5 reads:
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us.
These verses reveal that the building of your character begins with God’s instruction to rejoice in our sufferings. The Greek word for “sufferings” used in this passage means pressings or pressure. In the context of work, your sufferings are the extreme pressures of your job.
God is not telling you to be happy because you are suffering at work. Instead, he is telling you to rejoice in the assurance of his grace and provision in the midst of your sufferings. The Amplified Bible translates it this way, “Let us exult and triumph in our troubles.”
Exalting God in the heat of your trials will produce perseverance which is the opposite of coping or resignation. Perseverance is engagement with the expectation of victory. Master your next trial, persevere rather than quit, triumph rather than fail.
It is your God-trusting perseverance that will ultimately build your character. God guarantees it.
The development of character will be the by-product of facing your trials in the spirit of Romans 5:3-5. Character develops during your trials and not before. This is how Christianity works.
Just as victory requires fighting a battle, the development of your character requires persevering through the battle. God is the author of your character and the object of your hope and he does not disappoint.
Use your trials as opportunities to build your character. Persevere with the expectation of victory.