The Cost of Character
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Gifts are free, but character costs! Too many people let their talent write checks that their character cannot cash. Your reputation is what others think of you, which may or may not be true, but your character is who you really are, in the sense that you cannot separate what you do from who you are. Thomas Macauly once said, “The measure of a man’s character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.” In a nutshell, character is demonstrated through the choices we make. This is why Albert Camus once said that, “Your character is the sum total of your life choices.”
Character undergirds our gifts. The price you pay for character (spiritual and emotional maturity) is HIGH. Helen Keller said, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” The price you pay for character is high, but the results is transformation at the heart-level. Character is a matter of the heart, the core of who you are. If a person commits adultery it’s because that was already living in their heart, and a person’s heart is always their responsibility. This is why God tells us that we are to guard our hearts, and do everything we can to protect it. Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
How do we judge a person’s character? Jesus tell us to “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew 7:15. The hearts of people are revealed by their fruit aka results of their lives. Jesus says “But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it.” Luke 7:35. My admonishment to each of you is that you seek wisdom above everything and that you assess the fruit of those from whom you seek such wisdom. Moreover, that we all become people who bear much fruit! What type of fruit aka evidence should we want to see in our lives? As Kingdom Visionaries, we should strive to bear the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22, which represent the character of Christ. Galatians 5:22 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
The type of character you have is your choice. If you make poor choices, such as stealing, lying, or laziness, then you have poor character. I may not have a choice regarding the situations I am confronted with, but I always have a choice concerning how I respond to those situations. When dealing with frustrating or disappointing circumstances, I can respond with anger or with patience. The choice is always mine to make, so my character is always a matter of my choice, and thus it is my responsibility.
Take accountability for your heart, your choices, and your character. Learn more at the Train Transform Transition™ Empowerment Weekend!
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