1 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we havepeace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory. 3 Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance, character, and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 (For rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone might possibly dare to die.) 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by his blood, we will be saved through him from God’s wrath. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life? 11 Not only this, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.
Character - moral and ethical quality; integrity; honesty, virtue
“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.”
- George Washington
“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
- Abraham Lincoln
7 showing yourself to be an example of good works in every way. In your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and a sound message that cannot be criticized, so that any opponent will be at a loss, because he has nothing evil to say about us. 9 Slaves are to be subject to their own masters in everything, to do what is wanted and not talk back, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, in order to bring credit to the teaching of God our Savior in everything.11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people. 12 It trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,
In what one area of my life do I most need to grow in character and integrity? Examples: your way of speaking, your temper, your honesty, your sexual lust, your entertainment choices, your handling of money, your work ethic/laziness, your teachableness/respect for authority, your spiritual consistency, your complaining/negativity, your envy/jealousy.
Who are two people (whose character I trust) with whom I will confess, pray, and seek Biblical advice and accountability to improve my character? This is how we bless one another in a true Jesus culture.
To whom do I most need to admit a character failure and truly apologize with the intent to “make things right”? Examples could be one in your family, your workplace, your neighborhood, your church, or on social media.
Remember: You do not accomplish all this by your own strength. The grace of God not only saves your soul but also trains you (it is a process more than a destination) to live a life of Christlike character. Humility - which often accompanies some kind of painful circumstance - brings you more grace. Godly character brings you closer to God and advertises Him to a world that desperately needs Jesus.
See also Hebrews 12:1-11: Bonus question - Would God ever cause my pain, and if so - why?