Our character is not determined by our geography or our social status. It would be an insult to a single mother who is trying to raise her children in an inner city ghetto to honor God and then limit the potential of her children to the level of sorrow that surrounds her life. On the other end of the social spectrum is a religious small-mindedness that views every person of means as shallow just because they made wise business decisions that led them to a life of righteous abundance and comfort.
The kind of character that carries the traits of the fruit of the Spirit cannot be overpowered by geography or social status. Its power is found in its portability through any and all circumstances of life. Developing a depth of character is challenging whether you find yourself in a tough circumstance of life or in a place affluence. Godly character is formed over time by the choices we make that reflect something higher and more honorable than the circumstance that surrounds our lives.
All stations in life will have problems unique to their particular setting. It takes spiritual endurance for a single parent to hang in there while working two jobs and steering her children toward righteousness and away from a gang culture. It takes spiritual endurance for a CEO to keep his business plan on track with Godly principles and not sell out his morals along the way to the false god of easy profit.
Every life will have these challenges. Our character is formed by the decisions we make in faith to rise above the challenges to choose something better. The people who learn to live this way are the most hopeful people you will ever meet.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation” (Romans 5:3-4).