Dictionary.com defines character as: The qualities that form the individual nature of a person or thing. Tommy Nelson describes character as 'things etched as deeply into a persons soul that they are lasting marks, not easily changed.'
We all have character, some traits being more desirable than others. Meaning, we all can better ourselves. In the past year or so I have tried to make positive changes in myself. Some of those changes are in my character.
I wouldn't want to give myself a false sense of self (character), or award myself with traits I don't actually possess. So I asked a few close friends to give me their top three character traits they can see in me. The first responded with determination, silliness, and positivity. The second: creativity, loyalty and determination. The third answered with: giving, forgiving and funny.
I learned a little about myself. For one I didn't really see that I had determination. But if others (at least two people) can see it then I will own it! =) I know I am silly and I tend to think I am funny, but it is always a good feeling when others can appreciate those qualities. Like anyone I can get overwhelmed or frustrated, but I try to make the best of a situation, or see the best in people. I actively try to be positive. I have to say though my heart got joyful when I read that people see me as loyal, giving and forgiving.
Forgiveness is something I have had to work on. Perhaps you've noticed in my prior posts. Forgiving is not something that comes easily for me.I do believe that forgiveness is probably the most important character trait anyone could ever have. Reason being; 1 John1:19 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." and Mark 11:25 "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in Heaven may forgive you your sins." - How can I expect (or even want) a God so Holy and perfect to forgive me when I, un-spotless/unclean/undeserving, can't/chooses not to forgive someone else?
Loyalty just about as important. With loyalty comes trust and the respect. How can anyone trust someone who doesn't stick my their word? When you can't trust someone you'll never be able to respect them. In turn, if people can't trust you, you will never truly be respected.
Lastly but not least, giving. I don't know many people (if any) who want to be known only as takers. Just like forgiveness, God first gave then we give. Giving comes in may forms; time, care, monetary, ect. Acts 20:35 "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words The Lord Himself said: "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
I really rather like this list, but hope it doesn't end there. I don't think anyone could ever have to many good quality character traits on their list.
All of this said I am currently in a life group that will be studying 'The Book of Romance' by Tommy Nelson. Tommy says (not verbatim) it is a requirement (for a happy and healthy relationship) that you must find someone who possesses good character traits. However, before we can expect it in others, we must first expect it ourselves. So what are your character traits? What can I (any of us) better in my(our)selves?
Seek your character, once you find it I hope it was worth looking for.