Someone has said character is what you are when nobody is looking. In other words, our inner character determines our outward lives. This is why it is so essential that we guard and develop our inner life. Proverbs 4:23 reminds us; "Above all else, guard your heart with all vigilance, for from it flows the springs of life." What does this mean? How do we develop our character? First, this means that we should be aware of the wrong attitudes, bitterness, anger, lust, pride, greed, self-righteousness, and a whole host of other sins that can take root in our inner character and bear fruit (exhibit) themselves in our outer lives. Second, we should develop our character by never letting the seeds of these specific sins lie in our hearts for too long (this is how they take root). We should moment-by-moment confess our sins. We should immediately turn from (repent) of these sins, forsake them, and live in the assurance of forgiveness (1 John 1:9). Third, we should develop our character by creating the habit of daily Bible intake. Fourth, we should also learn to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Finally, we should learn the value of Scripture meditation and memory (Joshua 1:8).
As you might guess, to guard and develop our inner lives is not easy To really do these things they must be a priority. We can usually find time for what we want, even if we have to take time from something else. The most important priority in our lives is to grow in our relationship with God. Not only must it be a priority, but the flesh and Satan will work to keep spiritual growth from happening. Sure, you will take "two steps forward and one step back," but take courage, guarding and developing our heart is not done in our own strength. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13).