In the first lesson from Matthew 5, Jesus described the first of the four Christian character traits. He spoke about those who are poor in spirit and how that character trait will be blessed.
Now, let’s explore three additional Christian character traits.
3 Christian Character Traits
Jesus said blessed are they that mourn over their sins and the sins of others, for they will be comforted.
There is comfort in knowing that Jesus Christ has covered not just some but all of our sins. There is no sin too big or too small. Jesus has covered them all.
That, however, does not mean we go on repeating our sins. For to mourn over our sin means to not only say we’re sorry but also to live as if we mean it! Now that doesn’t mean if we repeat that sin we are not truly saved or sorry. What it does mean is that we should take that sin to prayer and ask God to help us not repeat it. Then we make every effort to not return to it.
We should pursue His righteousness. Trying to cover our sins and act as if they don’t exist is to live a lie before God and man. And to blame someone else for our wrong doesn’t make it right either. The world around you will tell you that you are too uptight, or get over it, or as long as you don’t get caught everything is ok.
That, my dear friends, is simply not true.
Jesus told us that those who mourn, those who grieve over their sin, those who experience broken heartedness will receive the Lord’s comfort both now and in the future. You see, repenting and sorrowing over our sin or the sin of another is not just a one-time event. We are sinners who continue to fail. But the good news is that Christians have been saved by the grace and goodness of God through Jesus Christ.
James 4:8-10 reminds us that the Lord will draw close to the repentant and cleanse them, turning their mourning over sin into the joy of forgiveness.
Have you experienced this kind of joy that comes after confession before the Almighty God?
If not, won’t you take your sins and lay them on the altar before Him and when you are done, return to your sins no more? In others words, don’t pick them back up when you get up and turn around.
Continuing on, in verse 5 Jesus said blessed are the meek. You might have heard it said, “Please don’t mistake my meekness for weakness!” Meekness is really power under control. Therefore, to be meek is to be like Jesus. The world will tell you to stand up for your rights, make your voice heard, exert your authority, God only helps those who help themselves, go for it!
True meekness or humility is submission to God’s will.
Zephaniah 3:11-12 says those who trust in the Lord will be meek and humble. Living God’s way may not make you popular, but it is truly the only way to experience inward joy and peace. And the Lord Jesus is our greatest example and therefore our greatest help.
Philippians 4:13 reminds us that we can do all things through Christ Jesus who gives us strength.
Hunger and Thirst
In verse 6 of Matthew 5, Jesus taught also that blessed are those who hunger and thirst for His righteousness, for they will be filled. Jesus loves to fill His people’s lives with joy. He promises that those who diligently seek Him in prayer and remain devoted to the study of His Word and live empowered by His Spirit, walking in obedience and love, will be filled.
They will be filled with peace and joy and contentment.
The world tells us the opposite. It says we can only find peace or happiness in money, in position, power or in leisure, vacations, cars or other people, so pursue these things. But I have lived long enough to tell you none of these things can satisfy our souls. None of them are sufficient to fill us up. Oh, there may be a temporary delight and momentary thrill or excitement, but it’s not long before that feeling is gone and we seek after the next person, place, or thing.
Nothing in the world gives you satisfaction like reading God’s Word and living to please Him. In Matthew 6:33-34 Jesus commands us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of living), and all these things (meaning what we really need, for He knows what’s best) will be given to us as well.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Now that is even more reason to seek Him first thing every morning before we leave the house. Those who want and choose to seek God’s Word, His righteousness, His kingdom, shall be satisfied and filled with good things.
When loving and pleasing God is your first priority, He will give you everything you need.
Now these first 4 character traits are based on the inward workings of a Christian and when these begin to take root in our lives, the following are sure to follow!
Which character trait do you struggle with the most?