Thursday, May 30th, 2013
Character Development (Part 1)
The Character Of Christ
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
2 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)
Your Word is a Lamp to my feet and a Light to my path.
Psalm 119:105 (NKJV)
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Galatians 3:27 (NKJV)
Actors, models and talent for Christ excel in the practice of character development. From an industry perspective, wise performers dig deep into the parts they play. Because to succeed, every song, script, dance or look must pull at the heartstrings of the audience--and no heart can be reached without going deep.
What is character? Is it 'a distinguishing attribute' (American Heritage Dictionary)? Is it 'a role, as in a play or film,' or is it a 'moral or ethical quality' (Random House Dictionary)? I believe it's all three.
What is godly character? Godliness is defined as 'the whole of practical piety (reverence for God). It supposes knowledge, veneration, affection, dependence, submission, gratitude and obedience. It denotes the substance of revealed religion' (Easton's Bible Dictionary).
As a Man, Jesus was the Whole of practical piety. He was the Embodiment of all knowledge, veneration, affection, dependence, submission, gratitude and obedience to God. He was the Substance of religion revealed.
Consider Hebrews 11:1 this way: Jesus is 'The Substance of things hoped for, the Evidence of things not seen.' Faith in Him produces in us--godliness: the Christian perspective of character development.
Paul says to young Timothy, his protege: 'Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory' (1 Timothy 3:16).
Jesus is the Definition and Measure of godliness. So for Christians, character development means becoming like Jesus. Christian performers must take Him on the road, on the set and on display. They must carry the character of Christ into a culture of corruption. How? Just like Jesus did.
By studying God's Word, we learn to represent Him in the world, but not to be absorbed by it: to carry Christ into the roles we play. Consider character development to be instruction in righteousness.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Character Development series.