A person that is considered to have good character exhibits attributes such as integrity, honesty, courage, loyalty, fortitude, and other important virtues that promote good behaviour and habits. Moreover, character marks who we are as a person, and it also highly influences the choices we make in our lives.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Reputation is the shadow. Character is the tree.” Our character is much more than just what we try to display for others to see, it is who we are even when no one is watching. Having good character is doing the right thing because it is right to do what is right.
Many people will display good character traits on the outside of their homes and even at their jobs, but they are a completely evil person in their own homes to their wives, husbands or children. They seemed to have a split personality when it comes to the true identity of their attitude and character.
Character is often defined as a collection of personality traits within our behaviour that shows who we are. This is shown in our integrity, attitude, moral fibre, disposition and this shapes how we treat one another, good or bad. This is mostly true, but it goes much deeper than that. Character is who we are and it can be learnt and built when we are God-fearing.
A good effectual foundation of character is “synergistic” as each one hangs and functions with each other. It is built upon the Fruit of the Spirit which all of the other character traits are co-dependent and thus function and rest upon.
Most parents today set very bad examples for their children by teaching them to lie and cheat or even steal, thus they create the bad society we live in.
I visited a family some time ago and I heard the phone ring. The lady of the house answered call and told the caller her daughter was not at home, but her daughter was sitting just a yard from the phone. Then she began to laugh, thinking she did something great, but she set a very bad example for her daughter to follow by teaching her to lie.
Building and developing character is not something we just learn from a book or hear from a sermon. It does not come upon us in the night, or sneak up in the day. It does not come automatically, accidentally or suddenly. It is a process that comes from being parented in it. Then it rests in us and in our motives. It is a slow process. You may not realise you have it until others point it out in you.
Character is not permanent once it is formed. It requires our continual hold and practice, in God’s Word, through our prayers and the practice of His Fruit in and through us. If we can develop good character traits and attitude we will live in a country of peace, love and harmony.
Reverend Gideon Cecil