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Character Flaws or Destructive Sins?

David is one of the most beloved characters in the Bible because of the Psalms, the benevolence with which he ruled over Israel in its golden age and his place in the lineage of Jesus Christ. At the same time, he is viewed as a pathetic despot because of his sins of adultery, lying and murder.

We know that the human nature is flawed because of the sins of Adam. Romans 7 refers to the law of the flesh. Yet, we also understand that the flesh is imperfect and is loaded with character flaws. What should the sincere Christian do when he or she encounters these imperfections? Are they sins to repent of and overcome, or are they merely character flaws that should be accepted and overlooked?

Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. 7 What shall we say then? is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. 9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.

How frustrated should we be over our idiosyncrasies, our faults and our personality quirks if they cannot be designated as sin? Does God intend for us to become perfect while we are still in the flesh? Here is what Paul wrote to the Galatians:

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. 18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

While this seems like a dilemma, there is a very important distinction between flaws and sins.  A flaw is a natural result of living in the flesh. A sin is a deliberate transgression against the knowledge of the scripture and against the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Not all flaws are sins, but all sins are flaws. People who want to rationalize away their sins often categorize them as mere flaws.

We should not be so dismissive of traits that we label as character flaws. Once those traits have been identified as a violation of the scripture, we must then admit that they are actually sins that need to be washed away by the blood of Christ.

1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

By examining a list of supposed character flaws, we can get a better grasp of the behaviors we call character flaws.

Character Flaws Character Assets


1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Obadiah 1:2 1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle. Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised. 3 The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? 4 Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD. 5 If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night, (how art thou cut off!) would they not have stolen till they had enough? if the grapegatherers came to thee, would they not leave some grapes? 6 How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up!

Saul: 1 Samuel 17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?

arrogant, insolent unassuming, humble

boastful modest, humble

conceited,self-important humble, modest

exaggerating honest, realistic

falsely prideful modest, humble

intolerant tolerant, understanding, patient

inflexible, stubborn open-minded, flexible

self-important humble, modest

superior, grandiose, pretentious humble

vain modest, humble

Contentious  Proverbs 15:18 A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife. Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Judas Mark 14:4; Peter John 18:10.

aggressive, belligerent good-natured, gentle 

angry forgiving, calm, generous

argumentative, quarrelsome agreeable

attacking, critical fair, self-restrained

competitive (socially) cooperative

contrary, intractable, pigheadedreasonable

contradictory, oppositional| reasonable, agreeable

gossiping closed-mouth, kind, praising

ill-tempered good-tempered, calm

rude, discourteous polite, courteous

Irresponsible Prodigal Son; Luke 15:13; Proverbs 14:7; Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

apathetic interested, concerned, alert

careless careful, painstaking, concerned

irresponsible, reckless responsible

fantasizing, unrealistic practical, realistic

forgetful responsible

lack of purpose purposeful

lazy, indolent industrious, conscientious

procrastinates disciplined, acts promptly

undisciplined, self-indulgent disciplined

wasteful thrifty

Fearful 2 Timothy 1:7

apprehensive, afraid calm, courageous

avoidant faces problems and acts

cowardly brave

fearful confident, courageous

dependent accepts help but is self-reliant

indecisive,timid firm, decisive

shy outgoing


Ephesians 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

2 Corinthians 11: 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.


blocking honest intuitive

cheating honest

deceitful guileless honest

denying honest accepting.

dishonest3 honest

defensive open to criticism

falsely modest honest, has self-esteem

evasive, deceitful candid, straightforward

disloyal, treacherous faithful, loyal

insincere, hypocritical sincere, honest

masked, closed honest, open, candid

lying honest

manipulative candid, honest, non-controlling

rationalizing candid, honest

stealing honest

treacherous trustworthy

untrustworthy, unreliable, trustworthy

Lack of Self-Control

2 Peter 2:10; 2:18; 3:3;

compulsive free

dirty, poor hygiene clean

impulsive, reckless consistent, considered actions

gluttonous, excessive moderate


Romans 2:1-6

controlling lets go, esp. of other’s lives

critical non-judgmental, praising, tolerant

cynical open-minded

judgmental broadminded, tolerant

justifying (own actions) honest, frank, candid

projecting (negative) clear sighted, optimistic

Rebellious Saul: 1 Samuel 15:23; Romans 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

defiant, contemptuous respectful

disobedient obedient

Selfish Absolom 2 Samuel 14:25 But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. 2 Samuel 15:2 And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel. 3 And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee. 4 Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice! 5 And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him. 6 And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

faithless, disloyal reliable, faithful

disrespectful, insolent respectful, reverent

impatient patient

inconsiderate thoughtful, considerate

indifferent, apathetic, aloof caring

possessive open-minded

loud tasteful, quiet

self-centered caring of others

self-justifying admitting wrongs, humble

self-pitying grateful, realistic, accepting

self-righteous humble, understanding

self-seeking selfless, concerned for others

selfish altruistic, concerned with others

slothful (lazy) industrious, taking action


Titus 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 1 John 2:9-11.

hateful forgiving loving, concerned for others

resentful, bitter, hateful forgiving

sarcastic praising, tolerant

spiteful, malicious forgiving

unkind, mean, malicious, spitefulkind

unfriendly, hostile friendly

vulgar polite

vindictive forgiving


Jude 1:10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. 11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. 12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

enabling setting boundaries, tough love

depressed, morose hopeful, optimistic, cheerful

hypersensitive tolerant, doesn’t personalize

insecure, anxious self-confident, secure

isolating, solitary sociable, outgoing

over emotional emotionally stable

superstitious realistic, no magical thinking

tense calm, serene


Romans 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers

Ahab and Naboth’s vineyard

envying empathetic, generous, admiring

greedy moderate, generous, sharing

jealous trusting, generous, admiring

lustful healthy sexuality

Negative, Disbelieving

Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Pessimistic realistic, hopeful, optimistic, trusting

resisting growing willing to grow

self-destructive, self-defeating self-fulfilling

self-hating self-accepting, loving

thinking negatively being positive

suspicious trusting

Various Flaws

nagging supportive

narrow minded open minded

obscene, crude modest, courteous

perfectionistic realistic goals

stubborn open-minded, willing

sullen cheerful

unfair fair

ungrateful thankful, grateful

unsupportive of others supportive

useless, destructive helpful

violent gentle

willful accepting of the inevitable

withdrawn outgoing

wordy, verbose frank, to the point, succinct

We are to go from glory to glory in living our life. God tries us as in the fire in order to bring out the best in us.

Here is the difference between worldly philosophy and psychology versus the purposes of God: The world seeks to identify our faults and failures so that we can understand ourselves and accept ourselves as we are. God reveals the flaws and faults in us so that we can address them and overcome them. Much, much more can be said about these imperfections in the Christian’s life, but it all comes down to this principle.

If you find that you are filled with character flaws, do not simply shrug your shoulders and excuse yourself. Apply the blood of Christ and the power of the Holy Ghost to your life so that you can grow into the image of Christ.

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.


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Reader Comments (3)

whats up everyone

just signed up and wanted to say hello while I read through the posts

hopefully this is just what im looking for looks like i have a lot to read.

July 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVepaiplesadia

Thank you for taking the time to write all these verses in. They were really helpful for a paper I am writing!

October 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaddie True

This is very good, I just wanted to understand though that when someone else as a christian in your church as a Leader has these character flaws and none of them come across as changed or being worked on and you have to deal with them as another Leader, how do you go on working through issues if they insist to make excuses for these and claim they're working on them? And while they're pointing to yours to escape their own problems.Or they tell you that you need to worry about yourself, yet they don't seem to change themselves. It makes it hard to work with someone who claims to be honest but doesn't show they are honest with themselves.And it makes it difficult to see where my flaws are such an issue when their flaws won't allow me as a Leader to progress.And even when I feel I've been working on my flaws,and I don't see changes in them,I feel am I wasting my time here trying to work for someone who doesn't treat me as a Christian should treat another christian in the body!

May 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersincerely

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