If you were promoted based on your character, how far would you go? Or to put it another way, if someone were to look at your heart, what would they walk away thinking about your character?
If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of me. – Dwight L. Moody
But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve. – Jeremiah 17:10
Our character matters to God and he knows who we really are. One of the keys to living a fulfilled life, and a life that with a solid reputation, is developing your character. Here are three easy to read but hard to apply steps for developing your character.
Change your thinking – Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Evaluate not just your thoughts but why you are thinking those thoughts. Identify faulty thinking and then align your thinking up with God’s word. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says to take every thought captive to obey Christ. And Philippians 4:8 says to, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Where does your thinking need to change?
Check your motives – Why are you sharing that post to social media? Why did you bring up that story in your recent conversation? Who are you trying to impress? Jesus warns us in Matthew 6:1 when He says, “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.” Check your motives, not just in your relationships but in all of your work. Colossians 3:23 says, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Ask yourself why you are doing the things you do. Make adjustments to give God the glory and remove yourself from the pedestal that rightfully belongs to God.
Reinforce your integrity – Your character takes years to develop but a moment of weakness can lead you astray. What guardrails have you put up in your life to stay on the right path? Where are you weak and what have you done to strengthen and protect these areas? Proverbs 10:9 shows us that it’s just a matter of time before weak integrity is revealed when it says, “People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed.” If you want to strengthen your integrity you must spend time focusing on God’s Word. Psalm 1:1-2 says:
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night.
Where are you susceptible to fail and what are you doing to protect your character?
John Wooden said, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” Who you really are matters to God, your family, and your community. Do something today to change your thinking, check your motives, and reinforce your integrity.