It has been said that all the obligations of humanity could be summarized by the word "love." A different webpage focuses on the meaning of that word - a word normally given a distorted meaning. Here on this page, we focus on some of the specific character qualities which God says are (or aren't) a part of that "love."
As we examine these character qualities, we may be surprised to discover that some may be good or evil, depending on the context. Though the following studies look at just a few of the character qualities mentioned in the Bible, they seem to illustrate a trend:
- There are some character qualities that are always required.
- There are some character qualities that are frequently prohibited by Scripture; yet we discover that in certain contexts they are required! We need Scripture to define what those contexts are!
- There are some character qualities that seem to be always forbidden. (We need to carefully examine the Bible, to make sure that these do not actually belong to the second category.)
Some of the Character Traits We SHOULD (Must) Have
We have a moral obligation to have such character qualities.
It's a part of God's character; it must become a part of ours. Four New Testament verses use this word (Greek - arete). Two of them describe God's character; two describe our obligation.
An Old Testament word study on the topic of integrity.
This study looks at three aspects of the issue of self-control, based on three different New Testament Greek word groups. The verses are arranged in outline form. Questions (for self-examination) are included at the end of each section, as well as at the end of the entire study. (This is a group of pages.)
Self-Control; Being in/under Control
The following two worksheets are a part of a larger study, called "Frivolous Fake Fellowship." The study examines the way people often conduct themselves when they are engaging in what they claim is "fellowship." It was an attempt to show that Scripture does not endorse so-called "Christian fellowship" that is characterized mainly by foolish jesting, superficiality, gluttony and people acting "out of control." (These studies are based mainly on the use of these words in the New International Version.)
Presents the general concept of "controlling" things. Some of the verses are applicable to this study; some aren't.
A more specific focus on control of self.
Patience is a characteristic of love (1 Corinthians 13:4). This study takes an in-depth look at the issue, and finishes with a series of questions, for self examination.
Endurance / Perseverance / Steadfastness is a characteristic of love (1 Corinthians 13:7). This study takes an in-depth look at the issue.
Kindness is a characteristic of love (1 Corinthians 13:4). This study takes an in-depth look at the issue, and finishes with a series of questions, for self examination.
This is an often misunderstood concept; but it is a character trait required of all people. Yet only those who who follow Jesus will have the power do have this trait in the way that God requires - the way we (the human race) had it before we gave ourselves over to sin. ("Human-powered" gentleness, though commendable, is not enough.) This study examines the concept of gentleness and meekness in the New Testament.
Some of the Character Traits We SHOULD NOT (Must Not) Have ...
EXCEPT in certain situations which are clearly defined by Scripture
Yes, there are some character traits that may be morally right or wrong, depending on the context in which they are present.
Not being jealous (or envious) is a characteristic of love (1 Corinthians 13:4). However, there are other contexts in which being jealous is God-honoring! (The same word can be translated as either "jealous" or "zealous.") This study takes an in-depth look at the issue, and finishes with a series of questions, for self examination. A second word, often translated as "envy," is also included here, even though it is not found in the 1 Corinthians 13 passage.
There are some Scripture passages that mention a good form of boasting and pride, and we should not forget this fact. However, this specific study focuses on the bad kind, which, according to 1 Corinthians 13:4, is not acharacteristic of love. This study takes an in-depth look at these issues. It finishes with a series of questions, for self examination.
Some of the Character Traits We SHOULD NEVER (Must Never) Have
We have a moral obligation to NEVER have such character qualities.
A hypocrite doesn't just speak a lie... he lives a lie. This is a study guide on what the New Testament says about hypocrisy, given in four sections. Most (if not all) of the N.T. verses that refer to hypocrisy (or its opposite - being "un-hypocritical") are included.
Misc. comments (and links) related to various character qualities
Some character qualities tend to be grouped together because of their similarity; others can be grouped together because they are opposites. Still others are related to concepts that are not normally considered to be character qualities. These links group together articles that are found at various locations on this website.
God says (about the ultimate character quality, which influences all others)...
- "This is the one I esteem:
- he who is humble and contrite in spirit,
- and trembles at my word." (Isaiah 66:2b)