28 Jan 2008
It is really all we have in life that shows who we really are to others.
Dictionary.com defines character in part as: moral or ethical quality. Qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity, reputation.
What does it mean to be of good character? Have you really thought how others view you and your character? Have you thought about the true character of those around you?
I believe that true character is what you do, when no one is looking. If you stand and “preach” about how bad it is to steal, deceive, look at porn, cheat on a spouse, etc, but when you think no one is looking, you choose not to tell a sales clerk they gave you too much change, or you don’t tell your spouse you spending two hours after work each day with a person of the opposite sex, or you wait until the family goes to bed before you go to internet sites that you don’t want them to know you visit, that is when you are showing your true character. Maybe not to those who know you, but to yourself, and to God.
You see even when we think no one is looking, someone is always watching our actions. God is always hearing our thoughts and knows our intentions. Many times, those around you may know what you are doing as well, they may just be to shocked or afraid to let you know they know.
Are we perfect? No. None of us is perfect, we all have character flaws. But what separates an individual of true character from one who “pretends” to have true character is in our ability to admit our flaws and attempt to correct them. To acknowledge we are not perfect.
I once heard a statement, we are only as sick as our secrets. That is so very true. The more you try to “hide” who you really are, the sicker you will become. But when we acknowledge our character flaws openly is when we can begin to overcome them, to heal, to build character. To improve who we are as individuals. It is a never ending process, but one that is essential for inner peace and future success, personally and professionally.
I have known people who on the outside appeared to be an individuals of character. They would say all the right things. Inside, they had many secrets. Only those very close to them, and there were few as they did not let people get too close, saw issues with deception and secretive behavior. Through the years this caused them to have failed marriages, trouble with family members, and more. Their character effected all aspects of their lives and the bad character caught up with them in the end in one form or another.
I write about this today because I think there are many who hide behind an appearance of good character. In order for any of us to be successful personally, financially and professionally we must first focus on our own true personal character and relationship with Christ. Look deep inside of who you really. What your true focus is on, not just who you portray yourself to be.
Are you trustworthy, loyal, a committed spouse and/or friend? Do you have a relationship with God? Can you deep inside know you did not do or think about anything you would be ashamed of if you did it or thought it in front of God? Are you keeping secrets from your spouse or significant other? If you are you must know, deep down inside it is wrong. After all, if what you were doing was right, you wouldn’t be ashamed to admit it to those who love you, would you?
Even I work on building my character everyday, right now, I am listening to the audio book “Become a Better You” by Joel Osteen. I highly recommend it as a great starting place to improve who you are, regardless of where you are starting from.
Today, think about who you are. What is your true character? Who are you when no one is looking? Where can you improve your life, and how would that improve the life around you with your family, friends and career? You and only you make the choice of who you are, and what your character is. What will you choose?