Calvin Coolidge was right when he said, “We do not need more national development, we need more spiritual development. We do not need more intellectual power, we need more spiritual power. We do not need more knowledge, we need more character. We do not need more law, we need more religion. We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen.”
Today’s post is the second of three regarding Christian character. Yesterday we covered the first three letters of our acrostic. https://thepreachersword.com/2012/10/22/qualities-of-christian-character/
In a peanuts cartoon Lucy is swinging on the playground. And Charlie Brown reads to her: “It says here that the world revolves around the sun once a year. Lucy stops abruptly. “The world revolves around the sun? Are you sure? I thought it revolved around me! Lots of people are like Lucy, John Maxwell expressed it this way, “The entire population of the world–with one minor exception–is composed of other people.”
People of character respect others. The other people’s rights. Their property. Opinions. And differences.
The Bible teaches we should respect the position and authority of others. Christians should respect the elders. Governmental authorities. Weaker brethren. Children should respect their parents with honor. Wives should respect their husbands. And men should respect women.
Jesus treated others with respect. So should we.
Accountability and responsibility go together. In a recent post I discuss the two concepts.
Jesus came to this earth with certain divine responsibilities. He understood that He was accountable to the Father to fulfill them. People of character accept their personal responsibilities and realize they have accountability to accomplish what has been entrusted to them.
I am accountable for my actions. My attitudes. And for the consequences of my attitudes and actions. Responsible people don’t blame others. Or make excuses for their bad attitudes. Or evade the effect of their behavior.
Christians of character know they are accountable to God. Not only in this life. But we’ll be held accountable in the day of Judgment (2 Cor 5:10). We are accountable to others in various relationships in our homes, churches and jobs.
By control I mean self-discipline. Self control. Restraint. The Greek word self control comes from a root word meaning “to grip” or “to take hold of.” It speaks to those who get a grip on their lives and take control of those things that produce either success or failure.
Dee Bowman expressed it well , “To conquer yourself is likely the greatest and most important challenge in life because until you truly own yourself, you can’t give yourself to Christ.” The wise man was right when he wrote, “Truly he that rules himself is greater than he who takes a city.” And the apostle Paul admitted, “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1` Cor 9:27)
When you exercise control, you master your moods. Watch your words. Restrain your reactions. Utilize your time. Manage your money. Maintain your health. Control your appetites.
Abraham Lincoln is credited with saying, “Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” When you, as Dr. Phil would say, “Get real!” what do you see? What is the real thing when it comes to qualities of respect, accountability and control?
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman