Cultivating Deep Character

There is a HUGE tree in my back yard that I love because of how tall it stands.  When I look at it I see a beautiful creation of God that has taken decades to build strong.  What makes it so strong?  An extensive root system.  A complex interweaving of the underground part of the tree that you never see.  This has always fascinated me about trees.  You can gaze upon how majestic it climbs to the sky, but really what makes it grow is what you never see below the soil.  The same is true for our character.  Character is NOT about what everyone sees, it is about what is driving you that often no one ever notices.

Character not only will defend you but it defines you…

tree 10-17

“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season…” Psalm 1:3

Most of us would say we want to have deep character and we want people to trust us.  But sometimes character can be illusive because of our blind spots and our bad experiences.  But even so, here are some ways you can develop deep character in your life no matter what situation you find yourself in.  And keep in mind, we develop strong character in order to stay focused on the mission God has for us.

5 Ways To Develop Your Character…

#1 Stay in the Word –  We can too easily forget the foundation of character starts with our relationship with Jesus.  We must INTENTIONALLY make time to get away with him.  I was just talking to my friend the other day and he told me he is taking a mini 12 hour retreat Sunday.  Awesome! Get away from all your distractions and be shaped and steadied by your time with Jesus.  Let him root out destructive habits and incorrect thinking.

#2 Be Humble   If you have to take credit for everything good that happens in your work, family, etc. you have a problem.  Pass along the credit and promote others.  Do you always have to be right?  Always have to have the last word?  Always interrupting people to get your point across?  Yep, that’s pride.  And by the way, the moment you think you are humble your character is probably taking a hit.  It is when you realize your pride when your character is deepened.  

#3 Serve Continually Every chance you possibly get you need to serve.  Considering others’ needs will give you a strong root system that can’t be compromised.  You can’t just serve when it feels good, but when it hurts.  This is especially true in marriage.  Did you know your marriage has character as well?  Build the character of your identity together as a couple through serving continually.

#4 Select Friends Carefully –   You need friends that will build into your character not tear it down.  I’m not at all for being an exclusionist and isolating yourself from others who don’t believe the same way as you.  But we must be careful who we bring close to us that INFLUENCES our thinking.

#5 Hold Your Tongue –   Nothing will destroy your influence and character faster than a hasty, harsh word.  The words you use define what you believe and how you interact with the world.  The next time you want to say something brutal, slow down.  Don’t make excuses for yourself either.  NO ONE gets a free pass by saying, “that’s just the way I am.”  If you want to deepen character it’s time to address the problem, your mouth.  Quick to listen, slow to speak, blah, blah, blah. you get it right?

Which one do you need to work on the most?  Which do you need to prioritize today?  I would love to interact with you here.


This Sunday at 217church we conclude our #Activate Series:   “Disciple Making”


We are the church that meets at two theaters!  Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 9:30 & 11am and Starplex Cinemas in East Windsor, NJ at 10:15.  Our new East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit for more information.

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