Recently someone attempted to pull a little character assassination on moi. I was appalled, I clutched my pearls…and I prayed. It was really no big deal, in the grand scheme of things. But on a personal level, I was stunned at the things that this person, who was clearly acting out of personal hurt, had to say about me. Those who knew me, jumped to my defense. They realized what it was, and called out the enemy on his tactics. They realized that my character did not vibe at all with the lies that were being told.
On the other hand, recently, I had to back out of an event that I really wanted to be a part of. As I spoke with the coordinator of the event, extending my deepest apologies and expressing how awful I felt about backing out, she assured me that our relationship was in tact and that I did not mar her view of me or my business ethic. “Your character is confirmed and your heart is pure” she said.
It was a profound statement to hear (for me at least). She doesn’t know me that well. We aren’t besties, we haven’t had lunch (although I’d gladly share my bacon with her). We are simply two business women who love God, and whose paths have recently begun to cross. Yet she sees my character.
Which is everything. Character is, I mean. It is defined as the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. The Bible is clear as to what kind of character traits we should exhibit in our every day behavior. Here are a few:
Proverbs 28:6 says Better is a poor man who walks in integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
Galatians 5:22-23 says But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.
Colossians 3:12-15 says Put on then as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
I don’t share the examples above to be braggadocios. It’s not me, but the Holy Spirit who lives in me. I’m reminded of how important character is when I’m in public and the cashier is moving too slow, or the waitress is rude, or I get flicked off in traffic, when I get bad news over the phone about a class or a transaction. Even in the bad times, or annoying times, I represent Christ. For those of us raising children and being wives and stuff (hey Idris), we have to remember we represent Christ. For those of us that are growing brands and businesses, our first thought and our daily reminder, is that we represent Jesus. For those of us who have 9-5’s, we represent Jesus to our co-workers. I was most cognizant of this when I worked with an atheist. He did not believe in God, Jesus, salvation or anything of the sort. I professed Christ verbally. But my every day actions would tell the real story. I represent Christ. And He checks me…hard…when my actions don’t reflect Him.
People will try to take you out of your hookup, either because they’re dumb and unhappy. Or they are unknowingly allowing themselves to be used by the enemy. Either way, don’t let it rattle you. Don’t let it affect your walk. Romans 13:14 says But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify it’s desire. It would be so gratifying to our flesh to curse people out, to retaliate, to give as good as you get….I get the draw. But too much is riding on our character to give in. And on the days when you do, as quickly as possible, make it right. That’s a part of character as well…knowing when to say I’m sorry.
As we all know, being a Christian doesn’t mean perfection. But it does mean we strive for it. We strive for greatness. We come from good stock, being the King’s kids and all….and our character should reflect that.
Your character will speak way louder than your words ever will…