Miller’s Monday Musings #112: The Ripening of Character

by | May 29, 2023 | Miller's Monday Musings | 0 comments

The Ripening of Character

ripening of character

Character is a process of growth. It is like fruit; it requires time to ripen. Different kinds of fruits come to ripeness at different seasons; some in the early summer, some later, and some only in the autumn. It is so with Christian lives; they ripen at different seasons. There are those who seem to grow into sweetness in early years, then those who reach their best in the mid years, and many who only in the autumn of old age come into mellow ripeness.

All of life is a season of character-growing! We are left in this world, not so much for what we may do here – for the things we may make – as that we ourselves may grow into the beauty of mature Christian character. In the midst of all our occupations and struggles, all our doing of tasks, all our longings and desires, and all our experiences of every kind, there is a work going on in us which is quite as important as anything we are doing with our mind or with our hands.

The farmer is cultivating his soil, tilling his fields, looking after the manifold duties of his occupation; but this is not all that he is doing. At the same time, he is developing character of some kind, building up the fabric of his own manhood. The carpenter is working in wood, but he is also working on life – his own life. The mason is hewing stones and setting them in the wall, but he is also quarrying out blocks for the temple of character which he himself is building in himself. People in all callings and employments are continually producing a double set of results: one in that on which they work, and another in their own lives! We are in this world to grow and to make character in ourselves, and every hour we leave some mark and some impression on the life within us – an impression which shall endure when all the work of our hands has perished!

The objective of life is to learn to live. We are at school here, and shall always be at school, until we are dismissed from earth’s classes to be promoted into heaven! It is a pity if we do not learn our lessons. It is a pity if we grow no gentler, no kindlier, no more thoughtful, no more unselfish, no sweeter in spirit, no less worldly, and if the peace of our heart is not deepened as the years pass over us.

We have much to do with this ripening of our own character. God gives us His grace, but it is ours to receive it. It is only when we abide in Christ that our lives grow in Christlikeness. If we live continually under the influence of Divine grace, our character shall grow with the years into mellow ripeness. Even the rough weather, the storm and the rain, and the chill of cold nights and the snows of winter will only bleach out the stains and cleanse our life into whiteness!

We have only one life to live, and we pass through this world only once. We should so live that every step shall be a step onward and upward. We should strive to be victorious over every evil influence. We should seek to gather good and enrichment of character from every experience, making our progress always onward. Wherever we go, we should try to leave a blessing – something which will sweeten another life or start a new song or an impulse of cheer or helpfulness in another heart. Then our very memory, when we are gone, will be an abiding blessing in the world.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this article! Feel free to leave your reflections and ask your questions below.

God bless you and your family, this day and always.

All for our King’s glory,

photo by Lauren  |

This post is another installment of Miller’s Monday Musings, a weekly series that is published every Monday on my website. The series features selected writings that have been adapted from the works of James Russell Miller (1840-1912), a much-beloved Christian author and pastor who is well-remembered for his practical thoughts on Christian home and family life. Learn more about this weekly series by clicking here.

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