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Portrait of a Young Girl by Sophie Gengembre Anderson

Developing Human Character

Character - Synonymous with Courage

Is courage—strength of character—desirable? Then must man be reared in an environment which necessitates grappling with hardships and reacting to disappointments. ~ The Urantia Book, (3:5.6)

It requires a great and noble character, having started out wrong, to turn about and go right. All too often one's own mind tends to justify continuance in the path of error when once it is entered upon. ~ The Urantia Book, (184:2.12)

How To Measure Character

The measure of the spiritual capacity of the evolving soul isyour faith in truth and your love for man, but the measure of your human strength of character is your ability to resist the holding of grudges and your capacity to withstand brooding in the face of deep sorrow. Defeat is the true mirror in which you may honestly view your real self. ~ The Urantia Book, (156:5.17)

Trust is the crucial test of will creatures. Trustworthiness is the true measure of self-mastery, character. ~ The Urantia Book, (28:6.13)

The Growth of Character

Meditation makes the contact of mind with spirit; relaxation determines the capacity for spiritual receptivity. And this interchange of strength for weakness, courage for fear, the will of God for the mind of self, constitutes worship... When these experiences are frequently repeated, they crystallize into habits, strength-giving and worshipful habits, and such habits eventually formulate themselves into a spiritual character, and such a character is finally recognized by one's fellows as a mature personality. ~ The Urantia Book, (160:3.1)

Much of what a mortal would call good luck might really be bad luck; the smile of fortune that bestows unearned leisure and undeserved wealth may be the greatest of human afflictions; the apparent cruelty of a perverse fate that heaps tribulation upon some suffering mortal may in reality be the tempering fire that is transmuting the soft iron of immature personality into the tempered steel of real character. ~ The Urantia Book, (118:10.9)

To be great is to be Godlike. And since the quality of greatness is wholly determined by the content of goodness, it follows that, even in your present human estate, if you can through grace become good, you are thereby becoming great. The more steadfastly you behold, and the more persistently you pursue, the concepts of divine goodness, the more certainly will you grow in greatness, in true magnitude of genuine survival character. ~ The Urantia Book, (28:6.22)

Although the average mortal of Urantia cannot hope to attain the high perfection of character which Jesus of Nazareth acquired while sojourning in the flesh, it is altogether possible for every mortal believer to develop a strong and unified personality along the perfected lines of the Jesus personality. ~ The Urantia Book, (100:7.1)

Encouraging Character in Children

Give every developing child a chance to grow his own religious experience; do not force a ready-made adult experience upon him. Remember, year-by-year progress through an established educational regime does not necessarily mean intellectual progress, much less spiritual growth. Enlargement of vocabulary does not signify development of character. Growth is not truly indicated by mere products but rather by progress. ~ The Urantia Book, (100:1.3)

While a good environment cannot contribute much toward really overcoming the character handicaps of abase heredity, a bad environment can very effectively spoil an excellent inheritance, at least during the younger years of life. Good social environment and proper education are indispensable soil and atmosphere for getting the most out of a good inheritance. ~ The Urantia Book, (76:2.6)

Even secular education could help in this great spiritual renaissance if it would pay more attention to the work of teaching youth how to engage in life planning and character progression. The purpose of all education should be to foster and further the supreme purpose of life, the development of a majestic and well-balanced personality. There is great need for the teaching of moral discipline in the place of so much self-gratification. Upon such a foundation religion may contribute its spiritual incentive to the enlargement and enrichment of mortal life, even to the security and enhancement of life eternal. ~ The Urantia Book, (195:10.1)

What Character is NOT

A display of specialized skill does not signify possession of spiritual capacity. Cleverness is not a substitute for true character. ~The Urantia Book, (48:7.3)

Fear and anger weaken character and destroy happiness. ~ The Urantia Book, (140:5.6)

The Rewards of Character

It is the plan of your superiors to advance you by augmented trusts just as fast as your character is sufficiently developed to gracefully bear these added responsibilities, but to overload the individual only courts disaster and insures disappointment. ~ The Urantia Book, (28:6.15)

How Spirituality Contributes to Character

The dead theory of even the highest religious doctrines is powerless to transform human character or to control mortal behavior. What the world of today needs is the truth which your teacher of old declared: "Not in word only but also in power and in the Holy Spirit." The seed of theoretical truth is dead, the highest moral concepts without effect, unless and until the divine Spirit breathes upon the forms of truth and quickens the formulas of righteousness. ~ The Urantia Book, (34:6.6)

The overstressed and isolated morality of modern religion, which fails to hold the devotion and loyalty of many twentieth-century men, would rehabilitate itself if, in addition to its moral mandates, it would give equal consideration to the truths of science philosophy, and spiritual experience, and to the beauties of the physical creation, the charm of intellectual art, and the grandeur of genuine character achievement. ~ The Urantia Book, (2:7.9)

True religion is a meaningful way of living dynamically face to face with the commonplace realities of everyday life. But if religion is to stimulate individual development of character and augment integration of personality, it must not be standardized. If it is to stimulate evaluation of experience and serve as a value-lure, it must not be stereotyped. If religion is to promote supreme loyalties, it must not be formalized. ~ The Urantia Book, (99:4.3)

Character Growth in Nebadon

The methods employed in many of the higher schools are beyond the human concept of the art of teaching truth, but this is the keynote of the whole educational system: character acquired by enlightened experience. The teachers provide the enlightenment; the universe station and the ascender's status afford the opportunity for experience; the wise utilization of these two augments character. ~ The Urantia Book, (37:6.3)

Creativity and Character in Human Life


Religionists seem to live ineffective emancipation from harrying haste and the painful stress of the vicissitudes inherent in the temporal currents of time; they exhibit a stabilization of personality and a tranquility of character not explained by the laws of physiology, psychology, and sociology. ~ The Urantia Book, (102:2.3)

Inner creativity contributes to ennoblement of character through personality integration and selfhood unification. It is forever true: The past is unchangeable; only the future can be changed by the ministry of the present creativity of the inner self. ~ The Urantia Book, (111:4.12)

Cosmically moral and divinely spiritual character represents the creature's capital accumulation of personal decisions which have been illuminated by sincere worship, glorified by intelligent love, and consummated in brotherly service. ~ The Urantia Book, (117:5.13)

Human life consists in three great drives—urges, desires, and lures. Strong character, commanding personality, is only acquired by converting the natural urge of life into the social art of living, by transforming present desires into those higher longings which are capable of lasting attainment, while the commonplace lure of existence must be transferred from one's conventional and established ideas to the higher realms of unexplored ideas and undiscovered ideals.

The more complex civilization becomes, the more difficult will become the art of living. The more rapid the changes in social usage, the more complicated will become the task of character development. ~ The Urantia Book, (160:1.2)

Association with Others Aids Character Growth

Many noble human impulses die because there is no one to hear their expression. Truly, it is not good for man to be alone. Some degree of recognition and a certain amount of appreciation are essential to the development of human character. Without the genuine love of a home, no child can achieve the full development of normal character.

Character is something more than mere mind and morals. Of all social relations calculated to develop character, the most effective and ideal is the affectionate and understanding friendship of man and woman in the mutual embrace of intelligent wedlock. Marriage, with its manifold relations, is best designed to draw forth those precious impulses and those higher motives which are indispensable to the development of a strong character. ~ The Urantia Book, (160:2.6)

The religion of the kingdom is personal, individual; the fruits, the results, are familial, social. Jesus never failed to exalt the sacredness of the individual as contrasted with the community. But he also recognized that man develops his character by unselfishness service; that he unfolds his moral nature in loving relations with his fellows. ~ The Urantia Book, (170:3.10)

The Perfection Of Character

Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus by Leonardo Da Vinci

Jesus Ennobles our Characters

Jesus was the perfectly unified human personality. And today, as in Galilee, he continues to unify mortal experience and to co-ordinate human endeavors. He unifies life, ennobles character, and simplifies experience. He enters the human mind to elevate, transform, and transfigure it. It is literally true: "If any man has Christ Jesus within him, he is a new creature; old things are passing away; behold, all things are becoming new." ~ The Urantia Book, (180:7.18)

His Character of Kindness

The unfailing kindness ofJesus touched the hearts of men, but his stalwart strength of character amazed his followers. He was truly sincere; there was nothing of the hypocrite in him. He was free from affectation; he was always so refreshingly genuine. He never stooped to pretense, and he never resorted to shamming. He lived the truth, even as he taught it. He was the truth. He was constrained to proclaim saving truth to his generation, even though such sincerity sometimes caused pain. He was unquestioningly loyal to all truth. ~ The Urantia Book, (100:7.2)

What Jesus Said about Character

"Those who first seek to enter the kingdom, thus beginning to strive for a nobility of character like that of my Father, shall presently possess all else that is needful. But I say to you in all sincerity: Unless you seek entrance into the kingdom with the faith and trusting dependence of a little child, you shall in no wise gain admission." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (137:8.8)

"Let every man make sure that the intellectual and moral foundations of character are such as will adequately support the superstructure of the enlarging and ennobling spiritual nature, which is thus to transform the mortal mind and then, in association with that re-created mind, is to achieve the evolvement of the soul of immortal destiny." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (156:5.2)

The Apostles Recognized and Loved Jesus' Character

The one trait which Peter most admired in Jesus was his supernal tenderness. Peter never grew weary of contemplating Jesus' forbearance. He never forgot the lesson about forgiving the wrongdoer, not only seven times but seventy times and seven. He thought much about these impressions of the Master’s forgiving character during those dark and dismal days immediately following his thoughtless and unintended denial of Jesus in the high priest’s courtyard. ~ The Urantia Book, (139:2.5)

The other apostles held Jesus in reverence because of some special and outstanding trait of his replete personality, but Thomas revered his Master because of his superbly balanced character. Increasingly Thomas admired and honored one who was so lovingly merciful yet so inflexibly just and fair; so firm but never obstinate; so calm but never indifferent; so helpful and so sympathetic but never meddlesome or dictatorial; so strong but at the same time so gentle; so positive but never rough or rude; so tender but never vacillating; so pure and innocent but at the same time so virile, aggressive, and forceful; so truly courageous but never rash or foolhardy; such a lover of nature but so free from all tendency to revere nature; so humorous and so playful, but so free from levity and frivolity. It was this matchless symmetry of personality that so charmed Thomas. He probably enjoyed the highest intellectual understanding and personality appreciation of Jesus of any of the twelve. ~ The Urantia Book, (139:8.7)

Jesus' Courage and Endurance = Strong Character

What he aimed at in his life appears to have been a superb self-respect. He only advised man to humble himself that he might become truly exalted; what he really aimed at was true humility toward God. He placed great value upon sincerity—a pure heart. Fidelity was a cardinal virtue in his estimate of character, while courage was the very heart of his teachings. "Fear not" was his watchword, and patient endurance his ideal of strength of character. The teachings of Jesus constitute a religion of valor, courage, and heroism. And this is just why he chose as his personal representatives twelve commonplace men, the majority of whom were rugged, virile, and manly fishermen. ~ The Urantia Book, (140:8.20)

It was not so much what Jesus taught about the balanced character that impressed his associates as the fact that his own life was such an eloquent exemplification of his teaching. He lived in the midst of stress and storm, but he never wavered. His enemies continually laid snares for him, but they never entrapped him. The wise and learned endeavored to trip him, but he did not stumble. They sought to embroil him in debate, but his answers were always enlightening, dignified, and final. When he was interrupted in his discourses with multitudinous questions, his answers were always significant and conclusive. Never did he resort to ignoble tactics in meeting the continuous pressure of his enemies, who did not hesitate to employ every sort of false, unfair, and unrighteous mode of attack upon him. ~ The Urantia Book, (149:4.5)

Jesus taught the appeal to the emotions as the technique of arresting and focusing the intellectual attention. He designated the mind thus aroused and quickened as the gateway to the soul, where there resides that spiritual nature of man which must recognize truth and respond to the spiritual appeal of the gospel in order to afford the permanent results of true character transformations. ~ The Urantia Book, (152:6.4)

Jesus had acquired that type of human character which could preserve its composure and assert its dignity in the face of continued and gratuitous insult. He could not be intimidated. ~ The Urantia Book, (186:2.5)

Jesus said little during these trials, but he said enough to show all mortals the kind of human character man can perfect in partnership with God and to reveal to all the universe the manner in which God can become manifest in the life of the creature when such a creature truly chooses to do the will of the Father, thus becoming an active son of the living God. ~ The Urantia Book, (186:2.9)

The Divine Character

The Character of God - The First Source and Center

We are constantly confronted with this mystery of God; we are nonplused by the increasing unfolding of the endless panorama of the truth of his infinite goodness, endless mercy, matchless wisdom, and superb character. ~ The Urantia Book, (1:4.4)

The divine nature can also be better understood by man if he regards himself as a child of God and looks up to the Paradise Creator as a true spiritual Father.

The nature of God can be studied in a revelation of supreme ideas, the divine character can be envisaged as a portrayal of supernal ideals, but the most enlightening and spiritually edifying of all revelations of the divine nature is to be found in the comprehension of the religious life of Jesus of Nazareth both before and after his attainment of full consciousness of divinity. ~ The Urantia Book, (2:0.1)

God's primal perfection consists not in an assumed righteousness but rather in the inherent perfection of the goodness of his divine nature. He is final, complete, and perfect. There is no thing lacking in the beauty and perfection of his righteous character. And the whole scheme of living existences on the worlds of space is centered in the divine purpose of elevating all will creatures to the high destiny of the experience of sharing the Father's Paradise perfection. God is neither self-centered nor self-contained; he never ceases to bestow himself upon all self-conscious creatures of the vast universe of universes. ~ The Urantia Book, (2:2.5)

The eternal God is incapable of wrath and anger in the sense of these human emotions and as man understands such reactions. These sentiments are mean and despicable; they are hardly worthy of being called human, much less divine; and such attitudes are utterly foreign to the perfect nature and gracious character of the Universal Father. ~ The Urantia Book, (4:3.2)

But the inhabitants of Urantia are to find deliverance from these ancient errors and pagan superstitions respecting the nature of the Universal Father. The revelation of the truth about God is appearing, and the human race is destined to know the Universal Father in all that beauty of character and loveliness. ~ The Urantia Book, (4:5.7)

The Father's love follows us now and throughout the endless circle of the eternal ages. As you ponder the loving nature of God, there is only one reasonable and natural personality reaction thereto: You will increasingly love your Maker; you will yield to God an affection analogous to that given by a child to an earthly parent; for, as a father, a real father, a true father, loves his children, so the Universal Father loves and forever seeks the welfare of his created sons and daughters. ~ The Urantia Book, (2:5.9)

The Character of The Eternal Son - The Second Source and Center

To appreciate the character of the Son, you should study the revelation of the divine character of the Father; they are forever and inseparably one. As divine personalities they are virtually indistinguishable by the lower orders of intelligence. ~ The Urantia Book, (6:8.2)

The Eternal Son is the perfect and final expression of the "first" personal and absolute concept of the Universal Father. Accordingly, whenever and however the Father personally and absolutely expresses himself, he does so through his Eternal Son, who ever has been, now is, and ever will be, the living and divine Word. ~ The Urantia Book, (6:0.3)

The Eternal Son is the eternal Word of God. He is wholly like the Father; in fact, the Eternal Son is God the Father personally manifest to the universe of universes. And thus it was and is and forever will be true of the Eternal Son and of all the co-ordinate Creator Sons: "He who has seen the Son has seen the Father." ~ The Urantia Book, (6:2.2)

The character of God is infinitely superhuman; therefore must such a nature of divinity be personalized, as in the divine Sons, before it can even be faith-grasped by the finite mind of man. ~ The Urantia Book, (4:3.7)

Paralleling the physical universe wherein Paradise gravity holds all things together is the spiritual universe wherein the word of the Son interprets the thought of God and, when "made flesh," demonstrates the loving mercy of the combined nature of the associated Creators. ~ The Urantia Book, (8:4.1)

The Eternal Son possesses all the Father's character of divinity and attributes of spirituality. The Son is the fullness of God's absoluteness in personality and spirit, and these qualities the Son reveals in his personal management of the spiritual government of the universe of universes.

The Son not only possesses all the Father's infinite and transcendent righteousness, but the Son is also reflective of all the Father's holiness of character. The Son shares the Father's perfection and jointly shares the responsibility of aiding all creatures of imperfection in their spiritual efforts to attain divine perfection. ~ The Urantia Book, (6:2.5)

The Eternal Son is the great mercy minister to all creation. Mercy is the essence of the Son's spiritual character. The mandates of the Eternal Son, as they go forth over the spirit circuits of the Second Source and Center, are keyed in tones of mercy. ~ The Urantia Book, (6:3.2)

The Eternal Son is truly a merciful minister, a divine spirit, a spiritual power, and a real personality. The Son is the spiritual and personal nature of God made manifest to the universes... But it is impossible to convey to the human mind a word picture of the beauty and grandeur of the supernal personality of the Eternal Son. ~ The Urantia Book, (6:7.3)

Character of the Infinite Spirit - The Third Source and Center

The Infinite Spirit is the effective agent of the all-loving Father and the all-merciful Son for the execution of their conjoint project of drawing to themselves all truth-loving souls on all the worlds of time and space.

The Infinite Spirit is a complete, exclusive, and universal revelation of the Universal Father and his Eternal Son. All knowledge of the Father-Son partnership must be had through the Infinite Spirit, the conjoint representative of the divine thought-word union.

The Conjoint Creator inherits all the Father's beauty of thought and character of truth. And these sublime traits of divinity are co-ordinated in the near-supreme levels of the cosmic mind in subordination to the infinite and eternal wisdom of the unconditioned and limitless mind of the Third Source and Center. ~ The Urantia Book, (8:3.5)

The outstanding attribute of the Infinite Spirit is omnipresence. Throughout all the universe of universes there is everywhere present this all-pervading spirit, which is so akin to the presence of a universal and divine mind. ~ The Urantia Book, (8:5.1)

But in and through all this material and spiritual creation there is a vast stage whereon the Infinite Spirit and his spirit offspring show forth the combined mercy, patience, and everlasting affection of the divine parents towards the intelligent children of their co-operative devising and making. Everlasting ministry to mind is the essence of the Spirit's divine character. And all the spirit offspring of the Conjoint Actor partake of this desire to minister, this divine urge to service. ~ The Urantia Book, (8:4.1)

As man learns more of the loving and tireless ministry of the lower orders of the creature family of this Infinite Spirit, he will all the more admire and adore the transcendent nature and matchless character of this combined Action of the Universal Father and the Eternal Son. Indeed is this Spirit "the eyes of the Lord which are ever over the righteous" and "the divine ears which are ever open to their prayers." ~ The Urantia Book, (8:4.8)

In each local universe the Divine Minister functions in accordance with the nature and inherent characteristics of the Infinite Spirit as embodied in one of the Seven Master Spirits of Paradise. ~ The Urantia Book, (34:2.3)

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