Bill Gothard’s 49 Character Qualities: Part III

Bill Gothard of IBLP is a man who has a great penchant for coming up with lists.  There are theSeven Basic Life Principles, the Ten Unchangeables (WARNING: Opens to a YouTube video), and a list of 49 Character Qualities.

The purpose of this blog post is to check out the verses attached to the Character Qualities to see if they match.  Please note that I am NOT questioning the value of the character traits themselves. I acknowledge that all the traits listed are worthy of developing. I also feel that there may be more virtues that are not listed, but Mr Gothard has stopped at 49 – probably because it is a ‘significant’ number (seven sevens).

The Character Quality, operational definition and accompanying Bible verse reference are straight from the IBLP website.  The Bible verse is not quoted, but the impression is that the Bible verse that is referenced supports the operational definition. I will provide the Bible verse and, verses before/after/around it (if necessary) to give context to see how well the verse matches the Character Quality and the definition.   I will use the KJV because that is the version that IBLP uses.

Part 1: Alertness to Contentment

Part 2: Creativity to Discernment

Part 3: Discretion to Generosity

Part 4: Gentleness to Justice

Part 5: Love to Persuasiveness

Part 6: Punctuality to Sensitivity

Part 7: Sincerity to Wisdom


Discretion vs. Simplemindedness

The ability to avoid words, actions, and attitudes which could result in undesirable consequences (Proverbs 22:3)

Proverbs 22:2-4

The rich and poor meet together: the Lord is the maker of them all.

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.

Not too bad.

Proverbs 2:10-12

10 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;

11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;


Endurance vs. Giving up

The inward strength to withstand stress to accomplish God’s best (Galatians 6:9)

Galatians 6:8-10

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.



Enthusiasm vs. Apathy

Expressing with my soul the joy of my spirit (I Thessalonians 5:16,19)

1 Thessalonians 5:15-20

15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

16 Rejoice evermore.

17 Pray without ceasing.

18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

19 Quench not the Spirit.

20 Despise not prophesyings.

Okay,  I guess.


Faith vs. Presumption

Visualizing what God intends to do in a given situation and acting in harmony with it (Hebrews 11:1)

Hebrews 11:1

11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I think a better ‘operational definition’ would be ‘complete confidence that God will act justly in a given situation’ rather than visualizing what God intends to do because according to Hebrews 11:1, we can’t see but we believe anyway.


Flexibility vs. Resistance

Not setting my affections on ideas or plans which could be changed by God or others (Colossians 3:2)

Colossians 3:1-3

1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Not sure how this verse demonstrates flexibility. The word flexible does not appear anywhere in the KJV.


Forgiveness vs. Rejection

Clearing the record of those who have wronged me and allowing God to love them through me (Ephesians 4:32)

Ephesians 4:31-32

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
This is good. It would be better if the reference included verse 31 as well.


Generosity vs. Stinginess

Realizing that all I have belongs to God and using it for His purposes (II Corinthians 9:6)

2 Corinthians 9:5-7

Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

I think verse 7 is a better match.  The words generous and generosity do not appear in the KJV.


To be continued…


About yewnique

I am a Malaysian-born woman who is married to an Australian and now live in Melbourne, Australia. I am a mother to four children. I home school. I like reading, writing, and cooking -- not necessarily in that order. I care about grammar and spelling, but am nonchalant about the Oxford Comma. I try to follow Christ's teachings.

Posted on Friday, September 7th, 2012, in Bible and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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