“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” (ESV)
. “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
There are two major things that will shape your character. First of all, how you respond to trials. “Know that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character.” Endurance is that ability or strength to keep on keeping on no matter how tough the storm may be. In other words, do you have staying power in the furnace?
A second major thing that will shape your character is your thought life. It has been said, “Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes a destiny.” The formation of your character really begins with your thought life – what you allow your mind to think on and to focus on will define your character. Philippians 4:8 tells us, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (ESV)“