Vol. 3, No. 10
I remember as a child looking up to my parents. I expected them to take care of me. If I was hungry, I went to them to get something to eat. If I was tired and sleepy, I would go to them and they would find a place of rest for me.
I expected my parents to provide for me. It never crossed my mind that they would not provide for me. I knew that they would find a way to give me what I needed. They did not give me everything I wanted, but they did give me everything I needed if it was in their power to do so.
God does that for us spiritually. He has the ability to give us whatever we need spiritually. He is ready and willing to give us whatever we need. He is always there to be the provider and supplier of our needs.
In Genesis 49:25, we read, "Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above..." The word 'Almighty' is the Hebrew name for God, El-Shaddai. This name is used for showing that God is the almighty provider and supplier.
If you will learn God's will by reading the Bible and obey what you learn, God will bless you richly. He will be there to supply your spiritual needs.
At the beginning of every school year, students are given a list of supplies. It is the responsibility of the students and parents to obtain these supplies before school starts. Common items on the list include pencils, pens, paper, notebooks and binders. These lists are intended to include all items the students are responsible to bring to class throughout the year. However, there is an item missing from the list. What item? Christian Character.
The term “Christian character" is not found in the Bible. However, we can define it by defining the two words that compose it. Acts 11:26 states, "And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” Going back to the original Greek language, a Christian is a follower of Christ. A Christian is commanded in Philippians 2:5 to have the same mind as Christ. Again going to the Greek, having the same mind is to hold the same values and beliefs. A person's character is how that person feels and acts on the inside. A person's true feelings are what define the type of character one has, not necessarily the feelings and actions that are shown. So, a person with Christian character will have true thoughts and feelings as close to those of Christ as possible. A person with Christian character will also do his best to live and act as Christ did.
Now that we know Christian character is patterning lives to Christ, we need to know something about the pattern. First Peter 2:21-22 says,
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth."
This passage first tells us plainly to follow the pattern that Christ left and then informs us that our pattern (Christ) was without sin. While on the earth, Christ lived according to the laws of God. We have the laws of God in our Bibles today to study so we can follow them as Christ did.
Honesty ~ Romans 12:17, “Provide things honest in the sight of all men."
Honesty is always telling the truth and never cheating or stealing. We know from Revelation 21:8 that, “...all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” God also commands us to work instead of stealing. “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Ephesians 4:28). This command also includes cheating because cheating is a form of stealing. When a person cheats on tests, answers are stolen from another person. Instead, we are to work for the answers by studying.
Obedience ~ Hebrews 5:8-9, "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him."
Obedience is doing what we are told to do when told to do it while maintaining a good attitude about it. Who are we to obey? God says, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise)” in Ephesians 6:1. He also tells us to treat older men and women as fathers and mothers (1 Timothy 5:1-2). If they are treated as parents, then we should obey them as we do our parents. The phrase “older men and women” includes teachers, baby-sitters and anybody else with authority over us.
Christ Restrained His Tongue ~ Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."
A person with a restrained tongue is one who thinks clearly before speaking. Psalm 43:13 tells us to, “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.” The word guile includes all profanity, dirty jokes and using God's name in a way that does not show honor to him (Exodus 20:7). A restrained tongue is also a tongue that does not talk back. When someone talks back, he is not obeying or honoring.
Having Christian character is important because we want to do our best to be like Christ so we can go to heaven. We also need to keep Christian character so we will be good examples for others to follow. Matthew 5:16 says, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” This verse shows us that we can touch the hearts of others just by doing right and practicing Christian character.
Even though Christian character is not listed with the rest of your school supplies, remember to take it with you and share it at school and everywhere else you go. And parents, in addition to the school supply list, you need to make sure your children take Christian character with them as well. The best way to do that is to practice Christian character in your everyday life.