Character is who you are on the inside. Character is what you do when no one is watching. The things you do on a daily basis will continue to be the things that you do in the midst of a crisis or an opportunity. Character is the moral compass that charts the course to your destiny.
Your gift can take you to the top, but only your character can keep you there. Gifting builds, character maintains. Talent and ability can bring success, but character will make you successful.
Character begins in your heart. Never get beaten on the inside, because it will only be a matter of time before you will be beaten on the outside. “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
Preachers fall when their gifting supercedes their character. Over the years there have been many ministers who have been found lacking in the area of character. I’m sure you can think of several names. Each of these men are talented and charismatic but they ended up hurting many people and the kingdom of God because of a lack of character. Gary Alaniz said, “Anointing is Ability….Character is Dependability.”
Preaching a powerful sermon matters little when your lifestyle does not match your advice. Actions speak louder than words. What you do speaks so loud I cannot even hear what you are saying.
Don’t bring shame to His Name. A reputation takes a lifetime to build and it can be destroyed in an instant. Character is the only thing that stands between you and public failure. Never do anything behind closed doors that you would not want your mother watching on the nightly news.
Truths about Character
- Character is celebrated and rewarded. “And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character” (Ruth 3:11 NIV)
- Character is more important than beauty, intelligence, or ability. “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones” (Proverbs 12:4 NIV).
- Character is rare and valuable. “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies” (Proverbs 31:10 NIV).
- Character is imparted to those who study Scripture and apply the truths they discover. “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11 NIV).
- Character is built during times of trouble. “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4 NKJV).
- Character is built over time, not created overnight. The preparations of today determine your qualifications for tomorrow. “But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel” (Philippians 2:22 NKJV).
- Character is shaped by those you spend time with. “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
- Character is formed by your decisions. “For we are each responsible for our own conduct” (Galatians 6:5). You cannot fail without your consent and you cannot succeed without your participation. Robb Thompson says, “We should respond “according to principle, not according to emotions. Circumstances themselves do not determine who we are, nor do they alter our character; it is how we respond that reveals who we really are. Our lives are a result of the paths we choose to take. Life is a series of choices, not a series of chances.”
Seven Pillars of Character
- Honesty: To always tell the truth. To leave no false impression.
“Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight” (Proverbs 12:22).
- Integrity: To do what is right no matter what the circumstances.
“The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him” (Proverbs 20:7).
- Humility: To esteem others as individuals. To acknowledge dependence upon God and those around me.
“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3).
- Purity: To live pure in thought and deed. To take captive every thought that sets its self up against the knowledge of God.
“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).
- Consistency: To keep showing up. To live a life of character all of the time not just when it is convenient.
“Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day” (1 Chron. 28:7).
- Accountability: To be accountable to God and to men. To maintain a system of checks and balances in every area of life. To always have someone who is able to make any correction needed.
“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12).
- Responsibility: To take responsibility for every action within my control. To account for myself and those under me.
“But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:48).
“But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given” (Luke 12:48 VERSION?).
Additional Thoughts About Character
A double-standard is only acceptable to a hypocrite.
What you are should determine what you do. What you do should never determine what you are.
You can change your character by changing your habits.
Iceberg principle – its what is below the surface that sinks you. Work to develop your self-discipline, emotional security, core values, and sense of identity. You must be bigger than your gift.
“Reputation is what men and woman think of us. Character is what God and the angels know of us.” – Thomas Paine
“Character is much easier kept then recovered.” – Thomas Paine
“If you can be bought at any price, you will be.” – Leonard Ravenhill and Toymakers Dream
Charles Spurgeon, “Character is always lost when a high ideal is sacrificed on the altar of conformity and popularity.”
Wrong is wrong even if everyone else is doing it. Right is right even if no one else is doing it.
Champions are not made in the ring, they are merely recognized there.”
“Challenges not only build character – they reveal it.”
Image is built by money, but reputation is built by work. Eventually your reputation becomes your image. Our reputation is His reputation, its not our works but His work. We are made in His image. The image we project should be his image. Image creates a first impression, reputation forms a lasting reputation. Image is who you say you are, reputation is who you really are. No amount of money can rebuild an image destroyed by a bad reputation. Image is what people see. Character is what you and God sees.
About Daniel King
Evangelist Daniel King, D.Min is on a mission to lead people to Jesus. He has visited over seventy nations preaching good news and he has led over two million people in a salvation prayer. To support King Ministries in our quest for souls, click here!