Summary: When my charactewr is under attack - will I stand?
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
In simple terms – what is being said here is that once we are believers we make peace with our God and have access to His grace in our lives but in addition life is a journey filled with twists and turns and it is through these twists and turns that who we are in Christ is developed, grown and realised
• How a person deals with the circumstances of their life speaks of their character
• Crisis doesn’t necessarily make character, but it does reveal it
• Adversity in our lives is a cross road where a person chooses one path – Character or Compromise
As Christians we are purposed to become more like Jesus – that is the growth journey that we are all on
Jesus is the ultimate example of character and every time we choose character development we grow more and more into the image of Christ
• So what is Character?
• What does it mean?
• Why is it so important?
Character is defined: The pattern of behaviour or personality found in an individual or group, moral constitution
When we label someone as a character – it is a reflection of their behaviour
4 Things We Must Know About Character
1. Character Is More Than Talk
Anyone can say they have integrity but action is the true indicator (I can keep saying I am the strongest man on the earth and maybe some would believe that but until I can back up my claim with action I am not the strongest man on the earth)
Your character determines who you are
2. Talent Is A Gift – But Character Is A Choice
There are a lot of things in our life that we have no control over – we don’t get to pick our parents, our upbringing, our talents or our IQ – but we do choose our character
Quote: Your gift will make a way for you but it is your character that will keep you
3. Character Brings Lasting Success With People
People do not trust those who have flawed characters
Good character will open up doors for lasting relationships with those around you
4. People Can Not Rise Above The Limitations Of Their Character
Have you ever seen highly talented people fall apart when they reach a certain level of success? (see this in sport)
Success without a good foundation of character is bound for failure
How often you hear of people who win x-lotto and years later their worse off than when they first began – they did not have the foundation or character to handle what was happening to them
Some thoughts on Character:
• DL Moody said, ‘Character is what you are in the dark’
• Chuck Swindoll said, ‘Reputation is what people think of you. Character is what you are regardless of what people think of you.’
• DL Moody – ‘If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself’
• ‘Reputation is for a time; character is for eternity’
• ‘It is better to be short of cash than to be short of character’
• ‘Don’t be a character, have it’
Throughout the Bible the word character is seldom used and the word integrity is not used – although these words are not used Jesus did call for purity of heart (Matt 5:8), singleness of purpose (Matt 6:22, and purity of motive (Matt 6:1-6)
Although the word character is not used that much – the traits and behaviours that form our character are mentioned all over
• Galatians 5 – Fruits of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control
• Matthew 5 – Pure in heart
• 2 Corinthians 1:12 – Sincere
• Isaiah 60:21 – Righteous
• Psalms 34:2 – Humble
• Revelation 17:14 – Faithful
Why is Character so important? Our Character is all we have – it is our witness – it is the shopfront window of our lives – its what people see – its what impacts and influences others – its what makes us different to the world – it is our foundation and it is our future!
Lets look at this for a minute – what is it?
Character Assassination is the bringing down of character
We have all heard of the term and maybe many of us have used in when we hear of someone’s character or integrity being attacked - our world is obsessed with bringing down peoples character as it fulfils a need to bring others to our level and keep us all equal – this started thousands of years ago when Jesus was arrested and then led to His death – the crowds mocked him and jeered at him – they wanted to bring Jesus down to their level