More Like Jesus: Reflections on Christian Character

October 22, 2019

by Peter Amsterdam

In this fourth compilation of the More Like Jesus—Reflections series, only one topic, Christian character, will be addressed, rather than the usual two topics. As Christians, we are new creations1 in whom the Holy Spirit dwells; and though we are still sinners, we strive to live in a manner that glorifies God and emulates His attributes. Our character is the main way in which we reflect Christ to others.

“God’s ultimate goal for your life on earth is not comfort, but character development. He wants you to grow up spiritually and become like Christ.”—Rick Warren

“Character isn’t something you were born with and can’t change, like your fingerprints. It’s something you weren’t born with and must take responsibility for forming.”—Jim Rohn

“I used to think that God’s gifts were on shelves one above another and that the taller we grew in Christian character, the more easily we should reach them. I find now that God’s gifts are on shelves one beneath the other and that it is not a question of growing taller, but of stooping lower and that we have to go down, always down, to get His best ones.”—F. B. Meyer

“Remember: What you do doesn't determine who you are; who you are determines what you do.”—Neil T. Anderson

“Everyone tries to define this thing called Character. It’s not hard. Character is doing what’s right when nobody’s looking.”—Unknown

“Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.”—Phillips Brooks

“Reputation is for time; character is for eternity.”—J. B. Gough

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”—Malcolm Forbes

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”—John Wooden

“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.”—Martin Luther King Jr.

“Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.”—Bruce Lee

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”—Abigail Van Buren

“God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to develop our character.”—Rick Warren

“Prayer is self-discipline. The effort to realize the presence and power of God stretches the sinews of the soul and hardens its muscles. To pray is to grow in grace. To tarry in the presence of the King leads to new loyalty and devotion on the part of the faithful subjects. Christian character grows in the secret-place of prayer.”—Samuel M. Zwemer

“Character is what a man is in the dark.”—Dwight L. Moody

“As the excellence of steel is strength, and the excellence of art is beauty, so the excellence of mankind is moral character.”—A. W. Tozer

“Let your words be the genuine picture of your heart.”—John Wesley

“Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is.”—C. S. Lewis

“Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children.”—Billy Graham

“Our character is but the stamp on our souls of the free choices of good and evil we have made through life.”—John C. Geikie

“Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.”—Stephen Covey

“God is far more interested in what you are than who you are.”—Rick Warren

“Of all the properties which belong to honorable men, not one is so highly prized as that of character.”—Henry Clay

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”—Unknown

“Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open.”—Elmer G. Letterman

“The expression of Christian character is not good doing, but God-likeness. If the Spirit of God has transformed you within, you will exhibit Divine characteristics in your life, not good human characteristics. God’s life in us expresses itself as God’s life, not as human life trying to be godly.”—Oswald Chambers

“Circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him.”—Unknown

“Good habits are not made on birthdays, nor Christian character at the new year. The vision may dawn, the dream may waken, the heart may leap with a new inspiration on some mountain-top, but the test, the triumph, is at the foot of the mountain, on the level plain. The workshop of character is every-day life. The uneventful and commonplace hour is where the battle is won or lost.”—Maltbie Davenport Babcock

“Character is made in the small moments of our lives.”—Phillips Brooks

“Your reputation is what people say about you. Your character is what God and your wife know about you.”—Billy Sunday

“He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has.”—Henry Ward Beecher

“Strength of character comes out of the decisions we make, temptations we face, and the conflicts of life.”—Wayman Mitchell

“Character comes by repetition of right until right is done subconsciously.”—Jack Hyles

“Meekness is one of the brightest graces which can adorn the Christian character.”—J. C. Ryle

“The test of Christian character should be that a man is a joy-bearing agent to the world.”—Henry Ward Beecher

“Character is always lost when a high ideal is sacrificed on the altar of conformity and popularity.”—Charles Spurgeon

“You cannot tailor-make the situations in life, but you can tailor-make the attitudes to fit those situations.”—Zig Ziglar

“You can take nothing greater to the heathen world than the impress and the reflection of the love of God upon your own character. That is the universal language.”—Henry Drummond

“A good name is what is given you by others and that which has been earned by you.”—Jack Hyles

“God develops the fruit of the Spirit in your life by allowing you to experience circumstances in which you’re tempted to express the exact opposite quality. Character development always involves a choice, and temptation provides that opportunity.”—Rick Warren

“While your character flaws may have created mild problems for other people, they will create major problems for your spouse and your marriage.”—Tim Keller

“If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself.”—Dwight L. Moody

“The Bible indicates that our thought lives ultimately determine our character. Solomon said, ‘For as he thinks within himself, so he is.’”—Jerry Bridges

“What lies beyond us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”—Unknown

“The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.”—Thomas B. Macaulay

“Men show their character in nothing more clearly than what they think laughable.”—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.”—Mark Twain

“Character is what you know you are, not what others think you have.”—Unknown

“Men of genius are admired, men of wealth are envied, men of power are feared; but only men of character are trusted.”—Alfred Adler

“The thing that I admire most about my dad is his genuine Christian character. He is a man of real integrity, deeply committed to moral and ethical principles. He is conscientious in all of his undertakings.”—Martin Luther King Jr.

“Reputation is what men and women think of us. Character is what God and angels know of us.”—Thomas Paine

“Actions, looks, words, steps form the alphabet by which you may spell character.”—Johann Kaspar Lavater

“Character is much easier kept than recovered.”—Thomas Paine

“Out of our beliefs are born deeds; out of our deeds we form habits; out of our habits grows our character; and on our character we build our destiny.”—Henry Hancock

“The purpose of Christianity is not to avoid difficulty, but to produce a character adequate to meet it when it comes. It does not make life easy; rather it tries to make us great enough for life.”—James L. Christensen

“Remember that your character is the sum total of your habits.”—Rick Warren

“Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.”—J. C. Watts

“Occasions do not make a man either strong or weak, but they show what he is.”—Thomas à Kempis

“If lips and life do not agree, the testimony will not amount to much.”—Harry Ironside

“God never alters the robe of righteousness to fit the man. Rather He alters the man to fit the robe.”—John Hagee

“Character will take you further than knowledge.”—Jack Wellman

“The supreme test of goodness is not in the greater but in the smaller incidents of our character and practice.”—F. B. Meyer

“A solid trust is based on a consistent character.”—John Maxwell

“So often we try to develop Christian character and conduct without taking the time to develop God-centered devotion. We try to please God without taking the time to walk with Him and develop a relationship with Him. This is impossible to do.”—Jerry Bridges

“The testimony of the lips indicates the state of the heart.”—Harry Ironside

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”—Abraham Lincoln

“You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.”—James Anthony Froude

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”—Helen Keller

“What happens outwardly in your life is not as important as what happens inside you. Your circumstances are temporary, but your character will last forever.”—Rick Warren

“Character is the sum total of all our everyday choices.”—Margaret Jensen

1 2 Corinthians 5:17.