Romans 5:3-4: Not only so, but we also boast in tribulation, knowing that tribulation produces patience, patience produces character, and character produces hope.
The word character appears in the Bible only a few times. That said, the references indicate that character is something to be strive to achieve.
The tribulation that Paul is referring to were the trails and difficulties experienced by believers who were being persecuted for their faith. He says that these tribulations produces patience, and patience, character.
Notice the difference in these two words. Patience is something we do. We act (or live) patiently under different circumstances of life. Character is different. Character is not something we do, it is something we have, or don’t have.
Paul’s conclusion here is that if we are patient and persevere through trials regarding our beliefs, then we are men or women of character.
Character is on display by our response to what is happening around and to us.
People of character are not people that make up the rules as they go along. They have agreed upon the rules beforehand. They don’t ask questions like “What is right for me?” They simply ask “What is right?”
There is only one standard of right and wrong, one to which all people are accountable. Those of us who call Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we recognize (or should recognize) that we are accountable to God’s standards. That is our “right and wrong”. God’s standards are what we agree on as the rules we live our life by.
God’s code of conduct does not shift or change with a particular culture or climate. It never changes. If God’s code of conduct doesn’t change, then that means the rules don’t change.
To be people of character, we must submit ourselves (get into agreement) to God’s code of conduct. We come to an agreement that His ways are right when we understand, don’t understand, and misunderstand.
His ways are right when it’s not popular in the culture we live. His ways are right when it’s inconvenient to us. His ways are right when it breaks our comfort. His ways are right…
We don’t obey God’s code of conduct and do the right thing in life so we come out looking good, or because it’s what we want to do, or because it will keep us out of trouble 100% of the time.
We obey God’s code of conduct, we do the right thing because it’s the right thing. His ways are better than our ways.