Does Character Count: Part One

Romans 5: 1- 4

Jesus dealt with a cast of characters as diverse as we. He provided for all the potential of peace with God in time and for eternity. In time He inspired hope and for eternity. He enabled the love of God to be shared.

It is through the most circuitous route that He leads us to build our character. The path is marked for us: 

“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.”  (Romans 5:1 – 4)  

Character traits were once the words used when persons were spoken of.  People were described as persons of character. Words such as, honesty, integrity, truthful, and dependable were used.

Gradually the operative word changed from character to personality. Charming, cool, funny, and outgoing became the vocabulary.

How can it be said that character doesn’t count in a world full of “oughts” and “shoulds?” Frequently in Scripture the expression “ought to” is used. It means what we “ought” to do is for our good and God’s glory. 

Every ought is
rooted in a value;
every value requires
a choice; every choice
defines a character.

Character isn’t something you have; it is something you are that inevitably shows itself in what you do.

As a child I learned the axiom: “Reputation is what people think you are. Character is what you know you are.”

Yet another: “Take care of your character and your reputation will take care of itself.”

And another: “Only you can damage your character.”

When people think of you, what type of character is envisioned? Take a hard introspective review and ask yourself what type of character you know yourself to be. If that character were revealed would it be an embarrassment to you? Now determine for the two images to be one. Do that in light of this.

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)