Character - It's time to clean up our act!
I'm not talking about Superman or Batman or even your favorite Marvel Character. No, I'm talking about something way more super than even our most favorite hero of all time. The character I'm talking about, is the moral and ethical quality that you and I uphold.
I'd like to share with you 3 pinnacle points where I believe our character comes under fire and what it is that we should be on the look-out for that could cause us to take a nose dive in our attempts to soar high on the wings of strong character.
Guard these with your life:
1) Speech - The things we say.
2) Sight - The things we look at.
3) Sound - The things we listen to.
Powerful influence, either for us or against us, is all around, looking for ways to enter one of these gateways into our lives.
For speech, things such as profanity, foal talk, obscenities, coarse jokes and the like, can make us look a lot less like Jesus and more like a sailor, as the saying goes I've heard.
Other things such as what we watch on television or in movies and also things like the type of music, radio shows, podcasts or other types of audio that we listen to can all have a very powerful influence upon us. For some of us the influence can be so strong that our faithful participation in these things could, to some degree, even be looked at as worship.
Our character plays a very important role in what people perceive about us. A good reputation can be built on strong character. The flip-side of that is, bad character can lead to obtaining a bad reputation.
The role character plays in our lives not only affects us but, it can affect the people around us. Just as the influence we receive has an impact on us, so our influence can have an impact on the lives of others, either positively or negatively.
Is good and strong character something that is important to you? Is the legacy you are going to leave, one where you desire people to say that you were a good example to others?
If so, then let's continue to talk about the things that shape our character.
Good character is not just automatic. It is molded and forged by healthy influences and good choices.
When you think about the things you say and the things you allow yourself to see and the things you permit yourself to hear how would you measure your character? Take an accurate assessment of yourself. A lot of us could probably say that we need to refine our character somewhat. The measure of how much refining and what types of things we actually need to focus on, will be different for each one of us.
Remembering that the perceptions others have of us differ from the perception we have of ourselves is key, because this can help us to discover things in our lives that may be in need of change when it comes to developing strong character that speaks well of us.
This message on character brings a heavy dose of conviction into my own life. I do not have to focus too greatly to see the need that I have for my character to be refined.
When we are able to pinpoint our flaws, we can then bring these errors in our ways before the throne of God in repentance and receive His mercy and grace. When we bring our sin before God and confess it to Him, He then cleanses us and brings us back into right standing with Himself, according to 1 John 1:9. This is a beautiful thing!
For reflection, I'd like to leave you with these two passages of scripture to think about when it comes to your character development and reputation.
“In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.” - 2 Peter 1:5-9 NLT
“A good name [earned by honorable behavior, godly wisdom, moral courage, and personal integrity] is more desirable than great riches; And favor is better than silver and gold.” - Proverbs 22:1 AMP