Character Formation is a Team Effort

Proverbs 22:6 & 15 Character comes from years of training. God has placed before us those who influence us for good or evil from childhood through our adult years. What we do with that training determines our path of life. Some of us will become leaders, and some of us will be followers. The principle given in verse 6 is not a promise, but it “implies channeling the child’s conduct into the way of wisdom.”

Observation of children shows that some are quick learners, and some only learn the hard way. Perhaps that is why King Solomon said: train up, make it an ongoing process, in the way he should go because “folly is bound up in the heart of a child.” Children do not become automatically wise without training, and it must be an over and over again process.

One piece of that training includes developing skills of discernment. According to Webster, discernment is how to perceive truth from error, virtue from vice, and acuteness of judgment. It doesn’t end at age 18 or 25 or 50. It is an ongoing process, as Paul told Timothy: Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman who doesn’t need to be ashamed. We are all a work in progress, and some are farther along that road than others.

Remember this promise: God’s divine power has bestowed on us—you and me—everything necessary for life and godliness through the rich knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and excellence. Therefore,

Be patient with self. Keep studying. Keep memorizing. Be diligent.

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