Video by Pastor Vlad Savchuk

My lovely wife Fancie closed her Bible with a sigh. The passage she had just read about the fruit of the Spirit had really convicted her.

As she looked back over her life recently, she realized her character didn’t quite line up with what God desired.

The impatience, anger, and lack of self-control she had displayed were evidence that she still had a long way to go in becoming more like Jesus Christ.

“Lord, I want to develop a truly godly character,” Fancie prayed. “But I don’t always know how to put the biblical principles into practice day by day. Please show me the way.”

As if in answer to her prayer, Fancie felt a renewed sense of determination settle over her.

She knew this spiritual transformation wouldn’t happen overnight. But she was ready to embark on an intentional journey of growth, doing whatever it took to bear the amazing fruit of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Grabbing her journal, Fancie began jotting down some practical tips and ideas for cultivating these godly qualities in her everyday life.

This was going to be an exciting adventure of spiritual development!

In this post, we’ll look at six tips for developing a godly character based on biblical principles.

1. Recognize There’s a Right Way and a Wrong Way

There's a Right Way and a Wrong Way

The first step is to recognize that in every situation, there is a right way (God’s way) and a wrong way. God wants us to intentionally choose to do what is right in His eyes.

Romans 12:2 (NIV) says:

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

When making decisions, you need to ask yourself questions like:

  • What action would be pleasing to God?
  • What does His Word say about this?
  • Am I choosing the wrong way just because it’s more comfortable or convenient?

Choosing the right way may not always be easy, but it’s essential if you want to grow in Christlike character.

2. Focus on Serving God, Not Yourself

Focus on Serving God, Not Yourself

A key element of becoming more spiritually mature is to shift your focus from self to God.

Instead of constantly asking God to bless you and meet your needs, you should ask Him, “What can I do for you today?”

As Jesus said:

“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

Luke 9:23 (NIV)

Selflessly serving God and others takes your eyes off yourself. It enables you to grow in humility, compassion, and love.

Here are some ways you can serve God daily:

  • Spend time reading His Word and talking with Him.
  • Listen to the Holy Spirit’s promptings and obey.
  • Look for ways to bless others.
  • Use your gifts and talents to minister to other people.

When you make seeking God your top priority, everything else will fall into place. You’ll experience more joy and purpose as you become less self-focused.

3. Be Willing to Suffer Discomfort to Please God

Be Willing To Suffer Discomfort To Please God

Being a believer and living a godly life doesn’t mean everything will be easy and comfortable. Sometimes obeying God requires us to suffer discomfort or face opposition.

The Bible tells us:

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”

1 Peter 4:12-13 (NIV)

Rather than trying to avoid suffering, you should have the attitude of trusting God and suffering discomfort if that’s what it takes to please Him. He will give you the grace and strength to endure.

As you suffer for doing good and resisting sin, it develops godly virtues in you like patience, endurance, and integrity.

4. Forgive Others Freely

Forgive Others Freely

Forgiving others is difficult for many believers. But holding on to unforgiveness can hinder your relationship with God. That’s why you need to forgive quickly—for your own sake.

Jesus taught that we should forgive “up to seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22 NKJV). That means forgiving others unconditionally, just as God has forgiven us.

Ephesians 4:32 (NIV) says:

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Next time someone hurts or offends you, make a conscious choice to forgive them even if you don’t feel like it. This act of obedience will help free you from bitterness.

5. Meditate on God’s Word

Biblical Meditation

To grow in Christlike character, you need to regularly meditate on and apply God’s Word.

As you devote time to reading, studying, and memorizing Scripture, it will renew your mind and transform you.

The Psalms encourage us to meditate on God’s Word constantly:

“Blessed is the one…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.”

Psalm 1:1-2 (NIV)

Set aside time to read the Bible daily. The more you immerse yourself in the Word, the more it will shape your thoughts, attitudes, and actions to align with God’s will.

6. Renew Your Mind

Renew Your Mind

Our minds need constant renewing so they don’t conform to the beliefs and patterns of this world.

The first step is to bring every thought captive to the Lord, as 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) tells us.

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Part of renewing your mind means unlearning negative or ungodly mindsets that you’ve developed over the years.

Old habits of judgment, jealousy, greed, pride, and selfishness need to go.

As you spend time in prayer and God’s Word, the Holy Spirit will transform you. You’ll begin to think God’s thoughts rather than relying on your limited human understanding.

Romans 12:2 (NIV) reminds us:

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Make a habit of praising God, giving thanks, and meditating on His truth. This will help to shift your perspective to be more biblical.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose God’s way rather than the world’s way in every decision.
  • Serve God wholeheartedly each day.
  • Be willing to obey God even when it’s difficult or uncomfortable.
  • Forgive others freely just as Christ has forgiven you.
  • Spend time reading, studying, and thinking about Scripture.
  • Renew your mind daily through prayer, praise, and biblically-based thinking.

In Summary

The key to developing a godly character is to stay connected to God through prayer, worship, His Word, and obedience.

Consistently walking with Christ each day sanctifies you and molds you to be more like Him.

Though we’ll never reach perfection on earth, we can experience profound transformation as we pursue intimacy with Him.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How can I know God’s will in a decision?

A. Pray, search Scripture for wisdom, listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading, and seek godly counsel. Make sure your motives align with biblical principles.

Q. What if others ridicule me for living godly?

A. The Bible says that believers will face persecution and suffering for pursuing righteousness (2 Timothy 3:12 NIV). Keep your eyes on Christ.

Q. Why is forgiving others so important?

A. Unforgiveness blocks your relationship with God and causes bitterness. We need to forgive as Christ forgave us.

Q. How much time should I spend in the Bible?

A. There’s no set formula, but aim to be in Scripture daily. Start with 15-30 minutes each morning.

Q. How can I renew my mind?

A. Replace negative thoughts with truth from God’s Word. Practice praise, thanksgiving, and meditating on the Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind.

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