Hardships in life provide opportunity to develop our character. But it’s not automatic. We must choose to grow. Growth can be painful. In the previous devotion, we learned that suffering produces perseverance. Taking this a step further, verse 4 tells us that perseverance produces character. I like the way Abraham Lincoln put it: “Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3,4, NKJV).
Years ago I had conversation with a Command Sergeant Major that gave me a glimpse into his character development. As a young Private, he felt he could never live up to his Squad Leader’s expectations. His Sergeant was always on his back. Finally one day, the Private made a decision. Enough is enough. He went to his Squad Leader and said, “Sergeant, if you can dish it out, I can take it!” That’s character!
The content of this article comes from “The Warrior’s Bible” (2014) and is copyrighted by Life Publishers International. Used with permission.