Webster’s English dictionary defines character as the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual. As Christians, our spirit man was recreated at the New Birth and God’s nature or character was imparted to us (2 Corinthians 5:17 and Galatians 5:22). The character of God is the basis, foundation, and benchmark for Christian character, and we should look to Christ Jesus, who is the exact representation of God (Hebrews 1:3 NKJV).
Man is made up of a spirit, soul (mind, will, and emotions), and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23 NKJV). It is the spirit component of man that is regenerated at the new birth, not the soul and the body. Our personality relates to the soul, and our mind is the dominant component of our soul. There is a constant war between our body and our spirit, and therefore we are to develop our character by renewing our minds. When we start living by the Word of God, our spirit controls our soul, and then, through our mind, controls our body (Romans 12:2 NKJV). We should bear in mind that God’s divine power has already given us the enablement we need to become like God. We play our part by developing our character to conform to that of Christ. We draw from the seed that has been imparted to our spirits by developing our minds with the Word of God (2 Peter 1:5-7 NKJV). For it is God who works in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13 NKJV).
Here are five ways renewing your mind can help develop your character as a Christian:
1. We are transformed daily to be like God. We become Kingdom-minded, start thinking in terms of the Kingdom of God, and can test and approve what God’s will is, His good, acceptable, and perfect will (Romans 12:2 NKJV). We are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV).
2. We become good witnesses for Christ (Matthew 5:13-16 and Philippians 2:14-16 NKJV). Our character is proof that we are Christians, and it’s a way we profess our faith. As we renew our minds with the Word of God, our good character shines brightly like a radiant light in the midst of deep darkness. That is why Jesus says we are the salt of the earth.
3. It keeps us in the light (Ephesians 5:8-14NKJV). To walk in the light shows an action verb. When we walk in the light, we don’t have anything to do with the unfruitful work of darkness. It is a conscious decision as a believer to pull out the imparted seed deposited in our spirits by the new birth and have it developed and seen as we walk in the light.
4. It keeps us constantly purified by the Word of God (Psalm 119:9-11 NKJV). With a constant intake of the Word of God, our lives are easy to see through. There is no hidden or secret thing about our lives. When the Word of God dwells in us richly, we are transparent, and we let the light of the Word of God shine through. We do this by taking heed to the Word of God, not wandering from it, and hiding it in our hearts.
5. We are led by The Holy Spirit. As we renew our minds, we learn to understand the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit leads us in the light (Ephesians 4:17-19 NKJV, 1 Corinthians 2:19 NKJV). The Spirit of God will show us what has been freely given to us. To walk in the light and exhibit the character of God is to walk by the Spirit.