I was driving to work the other day when I noticed a car that had a church bumper sticker on it, and a second bumper sticker which said “I know I drive badly”. Well that person was fulfilling that bumper sticker to the letter.
A few days later I was reading Oprah Winfrey’s magazine (don’t’ ask). When I came across this quote from Actress Laura Linney.
“ I was dating a charming, intelligent , handsome, and athletic man-one of those guys everyone loves. But one day when we were out hiking the Appalachian Trail, we came across a mother whose child had fallen and scraped his knee. They were both scared and panicking, practically in tears. As we approached them my date kept saying “They’re fine, They’re fine”. When he wouldn’t stop to help, my heart sank. I thought, I don’t want to kiss this man anymore.”
Later on in the article she was thinking about this and says the following. “Charisma is not character”. A magnetic personality doesn’t necessarily indicate a good heart. I’d always assumed they went hand in hand”.
In the news we all have been seeing what is going on with Congressman Anthony Weiner, with the explicit sex tweets and lying. At the heart of the matter is the one word character.
An example of my own life; I was driving home late one night. As I exited the highway I came to the top of the exit and stopped at the red light. There was a sign that said no right turn on red. Well I disregarded that sign and did it anyway. But boy I felt guilty after the fact. Thinking about it later it was a matter of Character.
“Everyone tries to define this thing called Character. It’s not hard. Character is doing what’s right when nobody’s looking.” ( internet website).
This definition hits the nail on the head, character is what we do, how we do it, and who we do it to. Character reveals what is on the inside of person. Character seems to be lacking in our culture, we see it on the television with scandals, reality TV shows that seem to condone a lack of Character. One particular show I am thinking about is Bridezillas. This show reveals women “behaving badly”, if I was one of the Grooms, I would seriously reconsider marriage to these women. If they act like that in public what goes on behind the scenes? If they act this way only for the Television ( which is possible to increase ratings) it still encourages bad character.
But as I think about the definition of character previously, it’s incorrect. There is one person that is always watching, the Lord Himself.
1 Chronicles 28:9 9 ¶ “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought.
We are kidding ourselves to think no one knows, when that is not the case. We can’t fool God we might deceive others and those around us but never God. So character does matter and can have a positive influence on us, our families and the world.
We tend to look at people and assume that what we see is what we get. But history has showed us that is not the case, if we look at our Country’s recent history we see scandals, crime, and thefts that we never knew these people where capable of. We need to develop a healthy realization that perception is not necessarily fact.
I need to examine my own life to see if what I am doing is something that would be detrimental to Character. Are my actions behind the scenes is something I would not be ashamed of if they were exposed in public?
But how do we develop character? Scripture also indicates that character development goes hand in hand with suffering.
Romans 5:3-4 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
To me it sounds like a mathematical equation; rejoice in suffering plus endurance plus character, equals hope. As mathematics is a science that’s a sure and true thing, and something you can count on. Same thing with this equation it’s a sure thing. We can count on this verse to create character in our own lives through suffering and in the process of this suffering we get Character and Hope.