How to Pursue and Achieve Godly Character

Have you admired people who were excellent at what they did and do? How can we achieve excellence of character? The first discipline is to train to be excellent, and the second discipline is to pursue your goals. I have been writing a series of posts on how to achieve the goal of godliness. Why should we pursue the goal of being godly and holy? 2Peter 3:10-11 explains, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness.”

The first post in this series covered what being godly was. The second post explained how to train to be godly. The third post described how contentment with godliness increases independence, time, and wealth. The fourth post admonishes us not to seek riches and how being rich distracts us from pursuing the character of God. In this post, you will learn what and how to achieve godliness; God’s divine nature.

Why Should I Pursue Godly Attributes?

To accomplish the objective of being godly, we need to pursue God’s virtues by striving for or seeking to acquire moral excellence, which is right thinking and acting. I want to finish where I started in the last post. 1Timothy 6:10-11 states, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. Through this craving, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs [griefs]. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” And In 2Timothy 2:21–22,the Apostle Paul explains, “Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the Master, ready for every good work. So, flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” To be a vessel of honor and have a pure heart, you first must pray to put off (repent of) dishonoring lustful passions that contaminate your heart and then pursue and put on righteousness, faith, love, and peace.

  • You pursue righteousness by putting your faith in Jesus Christ’s ability to help you do what is right because He is your righteousness (Rom. 1:17; 3:22).
  • Pursue faith by reading God’s Word and memorizing Scripture (Rom. 10:17; Heb. 13:7).
  • Pursue love by putting off pride and forgiving those who sin against you (Mat. 6:12–14; 1Cor. 13:4–7).
  • Pursue peace by giving all your problems to God, trusting Him, and forgiving. If possible, you are to also live peaceably with everyone (Rom. 12:18; Heb. 12:14).

How To Pursue and Achieve the Virtues of God

The Apostle Peter’s instructions in the following passage give us hope for achieving godliness, excellence, and holiness. Read 2Peter 1:3–11 slowly and meditate on each prepositional phrase.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire [lusts].

For this very reason, make every effort [diligently pursue] to supplement [add to]your faith with

virtue [moral excellence; goodness], and virtue with

knowledge [of God and His truth], and knowledge with

self-control [self-rule or self-discipline], and self-control with

steadfastness [perseverance, patience, and endurance], and steadfastness with

godliness [be like God], and godliness with

brotherly affection [kindness], and brotherly affection with love.

8) For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities, you will never fall.

For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

A promise is an assurance we can claim as ours. This passage promises we will never fall if we diligently pursue and practice faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, kindness, and love. Verse 8 guarantees that if we possess these qualities, we will not be ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ Jesus. Peter tells us to be diligent, which means to apply ourselves to accomplish something. 2Peter1:3–11 is full of many incredible truths. I encourage you to read a conservative commentary of this passage for a better understanding. Memorize these verses, so you don’t forget to do them because they are vital to being victorious over the unseen battles for your mind. Remember, God has given you His divine power through Jesus Christ, and you can partake of His divine nature through the promises found in the Bible. How fantastic is that!

Conclusion

To be excellent at anything, you need to train yourself to improve and then pursue your goals. Also, pursuing godliness makes us a vessel for honorable use. Thankfully, we have God’s divine power to help us achieve the virtues of God and His divine nature. Achieving godly character and excellence should be our number one priority because one day, we will stand before God and what will He find in you? Will you be ashamed?

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All verses are from the English Standard Bible unless otherwise indicated. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected. No part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of eight prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a person making the request.

Spiritual Warfare 3: HOW TO BATTLE FOR PEACE

How do you achieve peace with God and peace with those who are nasty individuals? How can you live in harmony with people who irritate you, offend you, or are rude to you? The answer is to own the gospel (good news) of Jesus and what He did on the cross for everyone, not just know it or believe it, but personalize it and tell it to others. Owning something means you can claim it as your own, and you have the authority and power to live in it and share it. But you will have to do spiritual warfare to keep the peace.

The good news is redemption through forgiveness of sins and the victory Jesus Christ bought for everyone by defeating our common enemy, the devil. 1John 3:8b states, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” The devil is called the thief, and he came to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10a). He especially came to steal peace and all the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Look at the evidence around you and in the news. Because Jesus forgave our sins, we can forgive other people for their sins and stay in peace.

Understand that our struggle is not with sinful, self-centered people but with the unseen demonic forces (Ephesians 6:12). Ephesians 6:14-15 explains how to do spiritual battle, “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.” The gospel of peace is always being ready and prepared to share the good news about how to be at peace with God and with each other.

I explained how to use the belt of truth in Spiritual Warfare 1: HOW TO DISCERN THE TRUTH? and use the breastplate of righteousness in Spiritual Warfare 2: HOW TO NOT FALL AWAY. In this post, I will show how to put on the shoes of the gospel of peace and be ready for battle against the unseen demonic world who wants to steal your peace. Proper shoes are a vital part of a warrior’s attire because sturdy shoes help them walk securely and not slip. The spiritual shoes of the gospel of peace is the sure foundation that keeps you from falling into temptation and acting out your sinful nature and pride when you feel insulted. Have you noticed that prideful people do not live in peace, but humble people do? Why do you think that is?

Ready Your Mind to Be at Peace with People

When I humbly live my life through Jesus Christ’s divine life in me (Gal. 2:20 and 2Peter 1:4), I can give grace and forgiveness to the challenging people around me. Ephesians 2:1-2 states, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.” The challenging people in your life may be those who are disobedient to God’s command to love and strive for peace. Do you keep God’s instructions in the Bible? When the gospel of Jesus Christ controls our thoughts, we can stand firm and live in peace with each other.

Every day, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-11). The spiritual forces of darkness want to steal your peace and cause you to be offended or tempt you to sin so you don’t live in peace with God or those around you.

The Bible says in Romans 12:17-21,Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Our sinful, human nature wants to return evil for evil. When we feel insulted, we think: How dare they say what they said or do what they did, who do they think they are? When you return an insult for insult, what does that say about you? It reveals pride. How does Romans 12:17-21 say we should live in peace with someone who is insulting us? When Jesus was mistreated, how did He react (see 1Peter 2:21-24)?

First, living in peace with other people involves being at peace with yourself and letting God take care of the rest. My short-book on my website will help you find the painful memories that cause you to lose your peace 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories. People can’t steal your peace unless you let them.

Second, strive to live in peace and choose to be holy and not act on your sinful nature to be unloving. Hebrews 12:14 (NIV) states, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men [people] and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Holiness is to be without sin. That does not mean we never sin, but we repent and seek God’s forgiveness and cleansing (1John 1:9). This verse says we won’t see the Lord if we are not holy. So strive to live in peace with everyone as far as it depends on you (Romans 12:18). Living in peace is difficult without the help of Christ Jesus’ divine power in us. Jesus said in Matthew 5:9,  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

How are we to be holy in a sinful world? 2Corinthians 7:1b explains, “Let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” We become holy when we daily die to our sinful desires and cleanse ourselves by confessing our sins and asking God for forgiveness. Then we will have peace in our hearts. Fearing God is choosing to revere and obey Him by doing the things that please Him. We please Him by having faith, doing good, and putting off our sinful nature, as explained in the following Scripture passages:

And to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13).

For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness” (1Thessalonians 4:7).

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’” (1Peter 1:14-16).

Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it” (1Peter 3:11).

And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:18).

Do you have holy conduct with those who are offensive? If not, seek to own the gospel of Jesus’ redemption until you can mindfully live above your natural sinful reactions and love everyone as Christ loves them. 2Corinthians 5:14-15 states, “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” Satan does not want you to live in peace with anyone, let alone be controlled by Christ’s love for them, so he tempts you to be self-centered and prideful. The Gospel of redemption helps you stand firm against this scheme of the devil. When Christ controls us, we can pray for those who hate us or persecute us and not return evil for evil. You may not be persecuted, but you might be frustrated or annoyed with someone irritating you or upset about everything.

How does the gospel of Jesus Christ control your thoughts, so you can stand firm and not sin?

How to be ready to share the gospel message of of peace with God

Always be ready and prepared to share your gospel testimony of God’s power and hope in your life. Where ever you go, be prepared to share how God’s power transformed you and given you hope and peace. 1Peter 3:15 states, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”

You can testify that He has redeemed your life from the pit of destruction. Psalm 40:2, “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.”

Testify how Jesus reconciled you to a holy God through the forgiveness of your sins so you can be at peace with God. 2Corinthians 5:18-19 states, “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” Reconciliation means to make right or harmonious again. Before Christ, we are all dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1) and destined for God’s wrath. After we received Christ into our hearts through faith (Ephesians 3:17), we were saved and reconciled to God. We also have peace with God by trusting Him to justify us (remove our sin) when we believe. Romans 5:1 tells us, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Explain how you were transferred from darkness to the light when you believed in your heart and confessed Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life. John 8:12 states, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” And John 12:46 Jesus states, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.

We have the same calling as the Apostle Paul in Acts 26:18, where Jesus tells Paul that He is sending him, “To open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Only God can open their eyes, so we must pray and ask God to remove the blinders from those you share your testimony with. 2Corinthians 4:4 states, “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

The gospel of peace also gives them peace of eternal life when they believe. Romans 1:16 also states, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” If you are ashamed to share the gospel message, then Jesus will be ashamed of you. Mark 8:38 states, “For whoever is ashamed of me [Jesus] and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” I don’t know about you, but I do not want my Savior to be ashamed of me.

You can testify that salvation gives peace, and you do not fear the wrath of God because your sins are forgiven, and you are justified (Rom.5:1). So, you can testify that Jesus has saved you and will save them if they believe in their heart. 1Theselonians 5:9, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And Romans 10:9-10 states,  “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”

Conclusion

Each morning pray: I put on the shoes of the gospel of peace and prepare to sow peace with everyone and in every situation, even when people do not meet my expectations. Through prayer, I put off the spirit of pride and walk as God walks in humility, love, compassion, and respect for others. I will share my testimony of hope and encourage everyone I can to love and trust in Jesus Christ. (Jam. 3:18; Rom. 12:16-18; Col. 3:12-14; 1John2:16; Prov. 16:18; 1Peter 3:8,15.)

Email me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com to get instructions on how to create a three-minute testimony you can share easily and readily anywhere. Revelation 12:11 states, “And they have conquered him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

RELATED POSTS:

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

Four Realities of the Spirit World

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.