I’ve been thinking about character often lately. Let’s start with the definition. That’s usually a good jumping off point.
Merriam Webster defines it as: -one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual –the complex of mental and ethical traits marking and often individualizing a person, group, or nation -main or essential nature especially as strongly marked and serving to distinguish -moral excellence and firmness
According to CharacterCounts.org there are Six Pillars of Character – Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, Citizenship.
As a Christian, I’ve heard the term “the character of Christ” spoken often. He pretty much had the most righteous character of all time.
What about my character? What about yours?
Why is it that character is built into children, purposefully by
parents, schoolteachers, churches but it just has to HAPPEN to adults?
For example, as a child everyone is trying to instill in you those six pillars (Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, Citizenship). Children are taught lessons on the values of those things. They are faced with the consequences of not being a good citizen or not being respectful.
Adults are often times the ones who need these lessons. For example, people in the service industry should be treated with respect and fairness. Just because hey are a waiter or a cashier does not entitle one to be a jerk to them. AND The other drivers on the road are people with live and families; they are not just cars with faceless drivers. People sometimes are in such a hurry in lines that they do not consider anyone else but their own needs or desires. They cheat in the express lane or cut in line in front of you. I’m sure we could all think of a million different peeves or problems where a dose of integrity and respect
would be helpful.
I certainly know I am guilty of showing the a lack of character sometimes. As a Christian, I am called to distinguish myself by displaying attributes of mental/ethical traits with moral excellence and firmness. What I mean to say is. Christians are called to be different. NOT to be PERFECT. That’s impossible. I will never be perfect. We will fail to even TRY to be perfect.
What I will do: Not put myself first. Treat others how I would want to be treated. Build my character myself rather than letting it just happen to me.
“You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.” -Henry David Thoreau
I encourage you to think about your character. How can you develop yours? Not sure? Well pick an area and go for it.