Posts Tagged ‘character’

  

“Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs‬ ‭22‬:‭1‬ NLT)

Robert Hanssen was deeply religious, being a devout part of the Opus Dei sect of the Catholic Church. He was also very dedicated, giving almost 25 years of service to the Intelligence Field of the FBI. But what he lacked among his good traits was the most important one – he lacked character. Working as a double-agent for the Soviet Union, he was the most notorious spy in American history, costing many lives and endangering our national security, all for ego and a little more money to live on. 

According to the Bible, there are some things of greater value than riches, and one is relationship. We are not reflectors of God’s goodness because of our income status, political affiliation, or esteemed popularity, but because we simply act like God’s Word says we should. A good reputation only comes from right action, which in turn stems from godly character. 

Abigail Van Buren of “Dear Abby” fame once said concerning Character: ‘The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.’ The Golden Rule still applies! What I will do stems from who I truly am. Let your goodness stem from your godliness! You are loved today! 

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Victory comes from you, O LORD.” (Psalms‬ ‭3‬:‭8‬ NLT)

As I write this, our local high school football team, the Poyen Indians, and numerous parents are slogging through the cold rain to a second-round playoff game across the state. In our team devotion this morning, I encouraged them in playing hard and giving their best, and to be proud for achieving our school’s best record ever! But can we ask God to help us win?

In all of our battles in life, there is effort on our part, whether it’s in our marriage, overcoming addictions, or simply finding the will to press on each day. God comes alongside and helps us to overcome whatever we face. Regardless of its magnificence or urgency, if it’s important to you then it’s important to God because you are important to God!

There will probably be Christian students on the other team praying, and somebody will leave the field tonight having lost. Even losses become victories if it makes us more Christlike. So, when we pray, ask for what you will knowing that you don’t have if you don’t ask! But always finish every prayer the way Jesus did: “Father, let YOUR will be done.” If it’s so, then you will always win! You are loved! Have a great weekend! (And Go Indians!)

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For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John‬ ‭8‬:‭44‬ NLT)

Last night, my sons played football against a neighboring town whose mascot is the Red Devils. It has always mystified me as to how a town down here in the Bible Belt of the South would choose such a negative character to represent their community! My wife and I agreed that it was probably used to intimidate and strike fear in the hearts of their competitive rivals.

The problem is that we become what we tend to identity with. This includes clubs, groups, and even political affiliations. As the old saying goes, “If you lay down with dogs, you’ll wake up with fleas.” This is very true, especially spiritually. As Christ Life ambassadors, we must be careful that we are influencing, not being influenced.

As you go about your weekend, gauge what makes you more or less passionate for God. To me, the haunts of Halloween are mild compared to the horrors of the daily doors we leave upon for dark influences. Live to be true children of your Heavenly Father! You are loved today!

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Joseph, Mary’s fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.” (Matthew‬ ‭1‬:‭19‬ NLT)

Joe “JoePa” Paterno was the legendary football coach of Penn State. After leading his teams to championships for over 40 years, a good intention cost him his job and blemished his incredible tenure. Following his dismissal as fallout of the Sandusky Sex Scandal, he lamented, “We shall act with good intentions, but at times we will be wrong. When we are, let us admit it and try to right the situation.”

Sometimes the difference between goodwill and God’s will is 1,000 miles. Joseph was a good man, as the Bible tells us. But his good intention was about to become a horrible mistake. God had to visibly show up to keep Joseph from hurting his and Mary’s character and ultimately undermining God’s plan for mankind’s redemption; “Good” became the enemy of “Best”.

Pay attention to God’s leading before making decisions, especially the major ones. Our most intense and prolonged agonies can often be traced back to a simple singular decision. Even when the heart is in the right place, obedience may not be. Live to see your life fulfill God’s plans, not undue them! You are loved today! Have a wonderful & wise weekend!

When Athaliah, the mother of King Ahaziah of Judah, learned that her son was dead, she began to destroy the rest of the royal family.” (2 Kings 11:1 NLT)

In this story, the Queen realized that she was now the Monarch of the kingdom, not the spouse or mother of the King. To seal her power, she began killing anyone that could threaten her reign, even her own children and grandchildren. What on earth could make a woman turn into a complete assassin of her kids?

In this case, Power. It has a corrosive quality when placed inside a human vessel made of weaker, lesser stuff. The historian and moralist, Lord Acton, expressed this opinion in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887:

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

Be careful to not desire power, but accept only what God brings your way. Even in spiritual positions, the anointing upon you will destroy you if Character isn’t within you to sustain you. True leaders lead with love & you are loved today by the Great King!

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‘Teacher,’ they said, ‘we know that you speak and teach what is right and are not influenced by what others think. You teach the way of God truthfully.'” (Luke 20:21 NLT)

One of the first self-help books to become a best-seller was Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends & Influence People. In this treasure trove of dealing with people, he makes this quote relative to our scripture today:

The difference between appreciation and flattery? That is simple. One is sincere and the other insincere. One comes from the heart out; the other from the teeth out. One is unselfish; the other selfish. One is universally admired; the other universally condemned.

In our text, these men are speaking true words about Jesus, but without sincerity in their hearts. While Jesus did not allow Himself to be influenced in a wrong manner, these men were; they were acting out of the influence of other, lesser men. In this one statement, they have condemned their own character while trying to appeal to the pride of another.

Pride is how you see yourself, Character is how others see you. Let your character in Christ keep you from being influenced for the negative & help you to influence others for the positive! Be true! You are loved today! Have a great weekend!

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A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” (Luke 6:45 NLT)

Julius Dunsmore has kept deer as pets for years without any problems. But on Nov. 30, he was attacked by a large buck that he adopted after its mother was killed by a car. The deer’s antler severed the optic nerve leading to an eye & other injuries. Wildlife officials said bucks sometimes attack during the breeding season & have caused numerous serious injuries and one fatality in recent years.

Wild animals will behave true to their nature. So do people. Good intentions aside, if a person is bitter & angry, they will act and react that way. Good people will act appropriately as well, from whatever is in them. Circumstances do not change a person’s character, but they reveal it for what it is, good & bad. At that point, we have a basis to change, grow & do better.

Strive this week to let God lead you towards even more good being stockpiled in you. Your nature will be determined by what you think on & how you feed yourself with God’s things. Living good is easy when it’s the overflow of who you really are & you don’t have to fool people with an act. Be real and really good! You are loved today!

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