Five Character Traits Godly Men Value
The Greek philosopher Socrates is credited with having said, "The unexamined life is not worth living."
This school of thought, which was formed almost 2,500 years ago, still has relevance for modern believers of Christ. So what does it mean to be a godly man?
Godly Men Characteristics
In 1 Timothy 6:11–12, the Bible reads, “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
Just before these words, Timothy explained that those who argue for the sake of arguing and who refuse to hear the word of Christ when in the temple for the sermon lack righteousness. He encourages us to pursue godly gain and avoid an unhealthy obsession with extreme wealth. He doesn’t encourage poverty either, even discussing the food and clothing each person should have.
In verses 11 and 12, Timothy switches gears to a more positive tone. Instead of telling the reader what to avoid, he succinctly explains what a godly man embodies. The godly man expresses his belief in God publicly “in the presence of many witnesses,” and his personality consists of six traits:
Of course, we’re describing what makes a man godly, so we’ve already included godliness, but let’s consider the other five items and a few more verses that offer an even more well-rounded look at God’s kind of guy.
A passage in Titus adds to these traits (Titus 2:1–15). In verse 2, it directs older men “to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.”
Younger men get a different set of instructions in verses 6–8, which directs them to be “self-controlled... a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned.” So Titus adds to the list of ideal personality traits:
- showing integrity
- of sound speech
With these passages, we’ve built a pretty full picture of a godly man. He’s an honest gentleman who proudly declares that he loves God. He also shows love for others and speaks with restraint. The Bible describes the kind of nice guy you can rely on to be a good man.
Let’s explore a few of the traits of a godly man a bit more in depth. Five character traits rise to the top since they imbue more than one of the traits above, and represent a few of the aspects of character worth cultivating.
A godly man is honest.
In Proverbs 19:1, God’s Word says, “Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.”
As men after God’s own heart, it is vital for us to examine our words, our deeds, and our actions to see that they fall in line with God’s instructions for living, in order to fulfill His good plans for our lives. Walking with integrity takes practice, because we’re faced every day with temptations to lie. Some lies make our lives easier, but to develop integrity, a godly man must develop honesty that he uses consistently.
A godly man is responsible.
Romans 14:12 says, “So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.”
Believers in God should set a goal to leave lasting value, impact others for eternity, and ultimately take responsibility for the legacy we are leaving in the name of Jesus. Whether our neighbor knows if we behaved irresponsibly shouldn’t concern us as much as the fact that God knows. As we learn in James 4:17, we’ve sinned if we know the right thing to do, but fail to do it. Those verses make it easy to understand that a godly man can’t embody a steadfast nature and righteousness, and shirk his responsibility.
A godly man is generous.
2 Corinthians 9:6 says, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”
God’s Word, the Bible, shows us that generosity can and should extend not just within our own family or our most familiar community, but also to others who look, think, and act differently than we do. Throughout God’s Word, we’re admonished to generously give, such as in Acts 20:35. We’re not to worry about doing so, but to give cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7) because God sees what we do and returns our generosity to us in the same measure (Luke 6:38). That doesn’t mean dollar for dollar; it means in a pay-it-forward sense that when we do something to help someone, in the future someone will do something to help us (2 Corinthians 9:11). In Luke 12:33, God’s Word explains that He will provide us with eternal life and treasure in Heaven for the good we do on Earth.
A godly man is patient.
Exodus 14:14 says, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."
When people refer to someone as having “the patience of Job,” they say that for a reason. The godly man, Job, lost everything, but he didn’t take matters into his own hands to seek justice for what he had lost. He fell to his knees and worshiped the Lord, and then he was still. In the quiet of his soul, Job knew God had a plan, and in the end, God restored to Job twice as much as he had in the beginning.
When things go wrong, it gets tough to remain patient since we’re just ready for things to improve. The Bible admonishes us in Romans 12:12 to “be patient in tribulation,” and Colossians 3:12 reminds us that as one of God’s chosen ones, we each need to develop patience. Throughout the Bible, God reminds us that He only wants good things to happen to us, and if we’ll only pray to Him, speaking our heart’s desire, He’ll open the door. Matthew 7:7, Philippians 4:6, and Jeremiah 29:11 all tell us essentially that.
A godly man is humble.
Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.”
Christ may have been born in a stable, but the Son of our Creator God was anything but ordinary. He lived a humble life, working as a carpenter while conducting His mission work. The miracles he performed showed us what it means to be a humble servant leader among men. He washed the feet of His followers, a task intended for one of the lowest servants in a household.
In John 13:1-38, we can read of His last night of freedom before the Romans took him into custody. He takes off the garments He wears when preaching and ties a towel around himself to wash the feet of His disciples, saying His goodbyes with full knowledge of what will occur in the following days.
The man of God strives to emulate Christ, doing for those around him without bragging about himself. True humility may go unnoticed because you won’t call attention to it, but what greater humility is there?
Expressing Yourself as a God-Fearing Man
How you develop your godly character traits remains up to you. The godly man strives to become a better, godlier person, but only the Bible can properly tell you how to do that. We know from scripture that a godly man prays and pursues spiritual growth.
As a godly man, wearing clothing that quietly exudes your faith can offer you another way to glorify God. Of course, we want every godly man to look good, too, so our T-shirts and hoodies offer simple reminders like “Hold Fast” and “Choose Joy.” These pre-shrunk ring-spun cotton shirts offer a semi-fitted cut.
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