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CHARACTER QUALITY

METHOD
Method #3
An important goal of being a disciple of
Jesus is to develop Christ-like character.
This method helps you to see good and
bad character habits and to understand
them.

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You can then work on strengthening your
good character points and putting away
your negative ones.

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In this method we aim to
discover what the Bible
says about a particular
characteristic of a person,
with an emphasis on
personal application.
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[Warren says it is in fact a
combination of three other
study methods: Word
Study, Biographical Method
and Cross Reference
Method.]
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Why this method is
important

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To develop good character
we need to know what it is/
is not.

We need to understand what


the quality really is.

This method helps us in this


task.
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The Tools you need

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This method is the first
one to need anything
‘extra’ apart from a
Bible. You will need:

Bible (preferably a
study Bible)
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Exhaustive
Concordance

Bible Dictionary /
Word Study book

Topical Bible

English Dictionary
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Tips—how to do it well
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Take ONE quality at a time.
It takes concentrated effort to change
your character; build one characteristic
solidly before you move on.

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This is not to say you can’t STUDY other
topics / passages even while you’re
working on this one characteristic that
you have studied.

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Don’t Rush!

Developing good character takes


time—months or even years!

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Stay with one quality until you get a
victory in that area

It is better to concentrate on one area


and get a real victory rather than try
to look at many different areas and not
do any of them well.
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Some negative qualities are wrongly
used positive qualities

For example, being legalistic, rigid and


unbending might show a self-disciplined
person who needs to balance that with
love and grace.
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Trust the Holy Spirit

It is the power of God


that will build the qualities
of God, the fruit of the
Holy Spirit, into your life.

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Php 2:13, for it is God
who works in you, both
to will and to work for
his good pleasure.

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Nine Steps for doing
a Character Study

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Step 1) Select the
Quality

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Look up the definition in
an English dictionary and
write that down.

List synonyms and related


words—these help you to
understand the quality
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synonym—a word or
phrase that means exactly
or nearly the same as
another word or phrase in
the same language

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Step 2) Name the
opposite quality

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antonym | a word opposite
in meaning to another (e.g.
bad and good).

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Write down the opposite(s)
—there may be several.
Faithfulness—
unfaithfulness.

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Faith has a number of
possible “opposites,”

Faith—doubt

Faith—fear

Faith—apathy

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Step 3) Do a simple
word study

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Look up the Bible definition
of the word using a Bible
dictionary—this tells you
how the word is/was used
in the Bible.

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Try to look it up in the
original language.

Find it in biblical context


using a concordance.

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Check Bible dictionaries / encyclopaedias
to see how the word was used in Biblical
times. Did the word mean something
different than it does today?

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For example, “meek” in biblical times
meant “breaking something and bringing
it under submission.” Now it means “quiet,
gentle, and easily imposed on.”

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“The word was used to describe the
training of valuable horses, which were
brought under submission to their
masters. A stallion would still have all
the power and strength of its wild days,
but it was now under its master’s control.
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Meekness, therefore, is not
weakness. As a Christian
character quality, meekness is
strength that is in submission to
Jesus Christ.”

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Step 4) Find cross-
references

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Cross references help to
get insight from other
parts of the Bible
—“Scripture interprets
Scripture”

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Use your concordance /
topical Bible to look up the
word and its synonyms.
Write down all / some of
the verses, along with a
brief description of each
verse.
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trait | a distinguishing
quality or
characteristic, typically
one belonging to a
person

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From those verses, ask some of these
questions relating them to the quality
you are studying:
What are the benefits this trait can
bring me, or others?
What are some bad consequences this
trait can bring me, or others?
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Is there any promise from God related to
this trait?

Is there any warning or judgment related


to this trait?

Is there a command related to this trait?

What factors produce this trait?

Did Jesus have anything to say about this


quality? What? 30
What writer talked about this trait the
most?
Is this trait symbolised by anything in
Scripture? Is that significant?
Is this trait listed with a group of
qualities? What is the relationship
between them? What does this suggest?
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What Scriptures tell me directly what
God thinks of this trait?

Do I want more or less of this trait in


my life?

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Using these questions as
a basis write a brief
summary of the Bible’s
teaching on this quality.

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Or, to improve your
understanding try to
paraphrase one or more
of the key Bible verses.

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Include any questions or
difficulties you have as
you might find as you
investigate further that
the answer comes
through other Bible
verses.
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Step 5) Do a brief
biographical study

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Find at least one (preferably more) Bible
character who showed this quality.

Write down Scriptures that refer to him/


her and to how they showed this quality.
Ask:

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Find at least one (preferably more) Bible
character who showed this quality.

Write down Scriptures that refer to him/


her and to how they showed this quality.
Ask:

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i. What shows this
quality in his/her life?
ii. How did this quality
affect his/her life?

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iii. Did the quality help
or hinder his/her
growth to spiritual
maturity? How?

iv. What results did it


produce in his/her life?
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An Example:
Jospeh showed different
qualities of the fruit of the
Holy Spirit in his life (Gal
5:22-23)—these are seen at
different times, under
different circumstances:
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Love in a difficult family situation
(Gen 47)

Self control in the face of


temptation (Gen 39)

Hard work and patience in difficult


circumstances (39:19-40:23)

Faithfulness to a difficult task


(41:37-57)

Goodness, gentleness and kindness


in difficult family reunions (42:50) 36
6) Find a memory
verse!

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Choose a verse that will
be helpful when God
provides an opportunity for
you to work on your
character quality.

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7) Select a situation or
relationship to work on

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Time for application!

What area of life do you feel God wants


you to work on?

Do you need to avoid the temptation to


respond badly (show poor character) or
choose to show a good character quality?
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Situation–Anticipate what you will do if
a situation arises. If you are lazy what
actions can you take to stop your being
lazy?

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Relationship–Decide ahead of time how
you will respond in interactions with that
person. Remember your study and
memory verse, and what you have chosen
to do before / when you meet the
person.
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8) Plan a specific
project

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This is the second part of
step 7-practical application.
Think of something specific
you can do to build a
positive quality and/or
remove a negative one.
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For example you might choose
to work on thankfulness /
gratitude. You might choose
to write 5 notes of gratitude
to people who have been a
blessing. They need to be
personal in nature, “I am
thankful for you because…”
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Or you might choose to
take time to thank God, and
people, for their kindness.

Applications are: personal,


practical, possible and
measurable.
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9) Write out a
personal
“Illustration / story”

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A few days after doing step 8 write
down how you accomplished it—this
makes it provable. You should include how
you failed as well as how you succeeded.
This will build up as you work on
different areas and you can then see
how God is working in your life.
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Also when you get discouraged later, you
can read back and see how you’ve grown
and what you’ve accomplished.

It also means you’ll have great


illustrations/examples to use if you’re
mentoring another Christian.
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 “God often builds character in our
lives by putting us in situations
where we are tempted to do the
opposite. For example, God may teach
you honesty by placing you in a
situation where you are tempted to
be dishonest.”
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Assignment

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Study some of the lists of qualities found
in New Testament passages.
Positive qualities are found in:
Matthew 5:3 – 12 — the Beatitudes

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Galatians 5:22 – 23 — the fruit of the
Spirit

Philippians 4:4 – 9 — admirable qualities

2 Peter 1:5 – 8 — qualities that should


increase in our lives

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Negative qualities—so that you can work
on ridding these features from your life:

Galatians 5:19 – 21 — a list of the works


of the flesh

2 Timothy 3:1-5—have nothing to do with


these
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Positive Qualities

9. Forgiveness

1. Servanthood

10. Generosity

2. Honesty

11. Loyalty

3. Humility

12. Fairness

4. Determination

13. Cooperation

5. Diligence

14. Discipline

6. Faithfulness

15. Sincerity

7. Availability

16. Contentment
8. Teachability
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Negative Qualities

8. Gossip

1. Laziness   

9. Being unloving

2. A critical spirit

10. Dishonesty

3. Pride   

11. Worry

4. Selfishness

12. Fear

5. Unfaithfulness

13. Lust

6. Disrespect

7. Rebelliousness
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How do you fill in the
forms for this study?

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The End

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