Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Personal Character Study

--a spiritual lesson on the definition of character

Character- (kar'-ikter) 1 collective distinguishing qualities 2. moral strength 3. reputation 4. a person in a play, novel 5. dramatic role 6. eccentric person 7. a written letter or symbol

We don’t all write for the same reasons. Some seek recognition, some self-expression, some a legacy to pass on. Some desire to lighten moods and others to draw attention to social problems. Whatever drives us to pen fiction our characters will carry the story. The same is true of God’s story and the characters he uses.

Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. (Heb. 12:2) That puts us on-stage in this real-life play. We are the actors, not in the sense of pretending, but as the ones putting form and expression into the assigned parts.

Unlike a dramatic production, we don’t have a script to memorize. Freewill turns it into improvisation. God directs the circumstances, lays the scenery, positions other characters, and pulls the curtain with us stage center. Our actions and reactions reveal our moral strength, eccentricities, and collective distinguishing qualities. In turn, this becomes our reputation. We are the living letters of God’s Word that others read, the symbol of the Holy Spirit at work.

Our ability to craft events to grow our story-book characters should provide insight into the story God is writing through us. We can’t see, hear, nor completely understand what is happening to us, but we can rest in knowing that God has prepared good things for those that love Him. (I Cor. 2:8-10) What we consider a tribulation may very well be a blessing in disguise. At the very least God never wastes a hurt.

If you are experiencing being closed in, pressed down hard, shaken, or perplexed, consider the trial as more than undeserved evil. (2 Cor. 4:8) Ask God what He’d have you learn.Remember, God weaves subplots through your life and there may be more than one lesson.

Our experiences encourage and instruct others. Some struggling writer could benefit from what you've been through. What hardship have you suffered that provided insight, perspective, or maturity for a later event? For a fictional story-line?


  1. That's a loaded question! But I agree with you -- what the devil uses to inflict harm, God will use for good. He's always up to something good on our behalf. I truly believe that.

    I am suffering from a slipped disc in my back right now. As I sat in the ER, I reminded myself to take in all the sights, sounds, smells and feelings so I could use them in a book one day. It's awesome how we writers can do that!

    Thanks for a great post!

  2. That's so true, Karla. I still have a small hand battery-operated hand recorder that is great for just that purpose. I hope you are feeling better now.

  3. Mary,

    I've been meaning to tell you how much this post encouraged me. I've often viewed my life as a story, and lately I've been thinking about how God uses our pain to encourage others if we're willing.

    After my miscarriage, I had a friend tell me to "write about it." Scratching down that experience was a turning point for me! God has used my experience to encourage others who've had similar experiences. I pray He'll continue to use my words in that way.

    Anyway, thanks so much.


  4. Joy, thanks for sharing about how God has used a painful experience to bring good to others. It takes courage to share, but the words are a privilege and God uses them to heal both the writer/speaker and the reader/hearer.

    Your comment means so much to me as this year seems to be a year of tragedies, griefs, and pains. I feel hemmed in on all sides, yet I am expecting for God to do great things through them. God bless you.