Position Yourself – Character

Why is it that success and trustworthiness are not often synonymous in our generation?

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The missing ingredient is one word; character. What is character? Author Bill Hybels famously described character as ‘who you are when no one’s looking’. Another word for character is ‘integrity’, which is defined as ‘the state of being whole or undivided’. When one has character, what they say they believe and who they really are on the inside are one and the same thing!

This year, God is challenging you to Position Yourself for success in 2015 and beyond by investing in the factors that will bring long-term success. And one of the factors that will most easily undermine the desire of many for lifelong success is lack of sufficient investment in your character.

Why is it that you will so rarely hear people today talk about the importance of character?

I think it’s because it’s much easier to focus on our reputation than on our character. We want to look good on the outside, where everyone can see. But there is a great danger with that outside-focused approach. I want us to learn from one of the greatest men of character in the bible. Please turn with me to Numbers 12.

At this point of our reading, Moses was the most powerful man around. So how is it possible for someone to be the most powerful person in the country and yet be the most humble? Usually it’s the other way round! The more important your position, the more arrogant you become. Why was this not the case for Moses? The answer we’re looking for is in that little word called character. Moses had somehow, in that 40 years in the desert, become a man of character.

The problem with developing character is that it’s a long, hard process. The Internet always promises ‘3 easy steps to great abs’. But there are no ‘3 easy steps to a great character’! Character is developed through discipline and over time. Moses’ character was developed by at least these three things…

Willingness to serve in a lowly position – for 40 years, Moses served as a shepherd. Some of us right now are serving under a boss or ministry supervisor whose papers don’t match yours. God expects to honor the authority that he has placed over you.

Consistent time with God. Even when he became Israel’s busy leader, he constantly spent time with God. Character formation happens when we engage in the spiritual disciplines. Its during prayer, fasting and reading God’s word that God is able to convict you of some certain ungodly behavior patterns, motives, thoughts or attitudes.

Obedience to God’s word. Whenever God told him anything, Moses did it immediately. The bible tells us many times, ‘and Moses did as he was commanded’. Obedience to God is the foundation of godly character. That’s why we emphasize on sermon discussion in our LGs and holding each other accountable in applying the biblical truths we are learning in Mavuno. We turn the information into transformation by applying God’s Word in our lives.

So despite it being a longer, slower process, why is it critical that you invest in becoming a person of character? There are many reasons but I can think of several.

You become a leader worth following – Trust is the currency of leadership. And trust is developed when people follow a leader of character. People who take moral shortcuts actually appear smart in the beginning. But inevitably, the moment of truth will come, and our success will be shown for what it is: shiny on the outside, tiny on the inside. True success is not built from the outside in. True success is built from the inside out!

You receive God’s backing – In our passage, when Moses responded in humility rather than arrogance, God defended and affirmed him. Whenever we take shortcuts, God in His mercy allows us to do our own thing but we do it without his power or blessing. All of us are praying for God’s backup in 2015 and beyond. But only the way to ensure that is through developing your character! Tell your neighbour, true success is built from the inside out!

So how do you develop character? It begins with a decision. You see, character isn’t built by accident. It happens on purpose. One decision at a time.

As you go into 2015, you’ll be tempted to take moral shortcuts in order to fast track your success. But that’s a sure way to blow up God’s purposes for you. Its true that your gifts/talents/education will open doors for you. But it’s your character that will determine your long-term success. Small compromises in character now will make it much easier to compromise on the big things later on. Will you choose to be a leader of character? True success is built from the inside out!

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One Response to “Position Yourself – Character”

  1. Reblogged this on From My Mind… and commented:
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