When I write on a topic, it is often something that I am pondering, or something that I am focusing on as a developing Christian. In this context I want to briefly discuss what it is to have true character. Quite a few years ago, I had to make a decision. That one decision would lead to many future decisions with countless trials and tribulations.
In making that turning-point decision, I knew my true character would be tested even more acutely in the following months and years. I knew that God would be, as always, watching the actions and intentions of each person. When on an uncharted path, it is especially important to check yourself. Check your intentions, motives, and conduct. In highly stressful situations there is even more chance of misstep.
True character is the person you are when tested. When you have plenty of surplus, you are able to pad yourself, and hide behind that excess. Your true character shows when you have nothing to gain by being nice, polite, kind, charitable, honorable, and honest — and you do it anyway. When you have nothing to gain in the world but everything to gain by heaven, that is your true character shining forth.
In my opinion, faith and true character go hand in hand. When you are patient beyond the social norm you are showing true character. When you tell the truth even if you you have made a mistake. When you are generous, and no one knows who did that kind act. When the social norm is to ask for more, but you remain content with what you have. When you will receive no credit for your actions, but the grace given to you allows you to extend yourself.
Faith comes into play because your actions are tied to a greater cause.
We need to give credit where credit is due. God is the one who gives us all these abilities in the first place. He gives us grace to accomplish things that seem far too difficult. He knows our limitations and struggles. He knows our brokenness. He wants us to push beyond our brokenness when we are out of patience, time, or when we have fears and unmet needs.
It is in the striving that we show our true character, and mostly that goes unseen. It is the integrity that lies at your core. Don’t let it allow it to be covered or corrupted by fear. Don’t be temped to stray from your beautiful core that God built you with. The childlike trust that you can do what is right, and that is enough.
You have heard the phrase ” above and beyond the call of duty.” This is often said when someone actually does recognize a thoughtful or heroic action. So I submit to you that each hour presents countless ways to improve upon your character. The closer your character resembles that of Jesus, the more true your character actually becomes.
“More of You, and Less of Me,” as Colton Dixon sings, is the way of becoming who you are meant to be. Trust the process and surrender.
Copyright 2018 Marya Hayes