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Have Character; Don't Be a Character

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  • Marenda W.
    http://www.biblicalhealthinstitute.com/ExtraordinaryHealthNewsletter08012008/tabid/1416/Default.aspx?ContentPubID=284 Issue 35: Have Character; Don t Be a
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2008
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      http://www.biblicalhealthinstitute.com/ExtraordinaryHealthNewsletter08012008/tabid/1416/Default.aspx?ContentPubID=284

      Issue 35: Have Character; Don't Be a Character

      We all know people who have character. We also know those who are
      simply characters. And it is pretty easy to distinguish between the
      two. We trust people with character and do not trust the so-called
      characters.

      1 Corinthians 15:32 warns us to guard our character as it relates to
      the company we keep: "Do not be misled: `Bad company corrupts good
      character.'" Likewise, Acts 17:4 alludes to the potential of what bad
      characters can do: "…so they rounded up some bad characters from the
      marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city."

      Evangelist D. L. Moody said, "Character is what you are in the dark."
      Along that same train of thought is this, "True character is what we
      are when nobody's looking, in the secret chambers of the heart." One
      person piercingly puts it this way: "You can tell a lot about a man by
      the way he treats those who can do nothing for him."

      But how do we keep our heads above water, so to speak, when it comes
      to character? The answer is pretty simple. It has to do with our
      integrity or lack thereof. The dictionary defines integrity as "the
      state of being complete, unified." In other words, if a person has
      integrity, then his or her words and deeds match up. That person is
      who he or she is no matter where he/she is at or who he/she is with.

      Beyond the dictionary definition, however, is the Biblical
      perspective. In 1 Chronicles 29:17 it states, "I know, my God, that
      you test the heart and are pleased with integrity." And Proverbs 11: 3
      indicates "The integrity of the upright guides them, but the
      unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity."

      In other words, a person of integrity does not have divided
      loyalties—and can be known as a person of character, a person worthy
      of trust. V. Gilbert Beers says, "A person of integrity is one who has
      established a system of values against which all of life is judged."

      Having less than full-grown integrity, however, can result in a person
      becoming a character. Here are a few examples: The ancient Chinese
      built a great wall to keep out barbarians—a wall so high and so thick
      that they believed it to be impenetrable and believed themselves to be
      secure. During the first hundred years after the wall was built,
      however, China was invaded three times—but it wasn't due to any breach
      in the wall. It was due to a breach of integrity. Each time, a
      gatekeeper was bribed and the enemy was able to march right through
      the gates.

      Hester H. Cholmondelay's short poem titled "Judas" gives us another
      example:

      Still as of old
      Men by themselves are priced—
      For thirty pieces Judas sold
      Himself, not Christ.

      When you lack integrity, you lack character and can be easily bought
      out. When you have integrity, you cannot be bought out. Period.

      Want an acid test of whether or not you have character or are a
      character? Ask someone who knows you very well (and who is not afraid
      to speak truth to you) what areas of your life have integrity and what
      areas you may need some work on.

      And while this may be a risky venture, it may pay great dividends—and
      could even keep you from becoming a character.
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