Character Counts

You know it. I know it. We all know it.

There is something to be said about inward character.

If you have ever been hurt by someone in leadership, if you haveever had your trust stomped on by someone in authority,if you have ever experienced disappointment at the hypocritical words of those who speak one way and live another, then you know it’s true.Character counts for something.

I have been watching, listening, and learning these last few months, and I’ve only become more convinced that inner character is where the true battle lives.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far.

RHETORIC can get you far, but CHARACTER goes the distance.

I have known pastors who had such a way with words that people would follow them. People trusted them. People put their faith in the profundity of their message. It would have appeared many of these pastors were a success, too. Their churches grew, and their congregations increased, but then the headlines begin to read, “MORAL FAILURE.” The world then learned that although what they said was powerful, their heart was weak.

I have heard it from business leaders as well. Things seem to be going well, business is booming, clientele growing, money coming in, and it seems that they are on the verge of a true rags to riches story, but then the headlines read, “EMBEZZLEMENT.” Their business was a growing empire, but their heart was corrupt.

We have all experienced this from the office of presidency. The candidate wins people over, but after a while, words are not enough, and the truth about who they are comes into question. One party throws accusations one way, while the other party bats it back with increased intensity, and before we know it, with help from the media, each candidate looks like nothing more than a pig who’s been rolling around in the mud.

It’s sad to think that in each of these examples, what starts out great and hopeful, ends up fraudulent, a negative mark on the reputation of the organization they represent. whether it be a church, a business, or even a nation, it always seems to end like this.

RHETORIC can build your following, but CHARACTER builds a team.

When someone has a way with words, they are good at manipulating a crowd, but when someone has character, they offer the people what they need most. Rhetoric and character, when working together, help bring a group of people on board, but one without the other has little impact.

When you have rhetoric without character, the people are following a ticking time bomb which eventually will lead to disappointment, or worse, because rhetoric can’t go the distance.  But when you have character, you become a leader worth following, a voice that represents the good. Rhetoric may impact your ability to influence the masses, but character will allow you the privilege of uniting those who follow you.

Jesus, the good shepherd, had a way with words. He could tell a story to keep people entertained for hours on end, but then, when the story ended, people followed him. They didn’t go home when the speech was over. They stayed because the humble, loving, holy character of Christ was compelling.

RHETORIC can get you into the spotlight, but CHARACTER decides if you have anything of value to say.

I had a mentor tell me that everyone gets a chance to say something at some point in their life. The question remains of will you have anything of value to say. If there is anything that has been proven these last few months, everyone has something to say, but few say anything of value.

So here’s the challenge. Rather than craft the perfectly worded status on Facebook or Twitter, before you post the perfect picture on your Instagram that sums up how you feel about everything right now, ask yourself how you might allow God to craft your character into His likeness.

You know it. I know it. We all know it.

There is something to be said about inward character.

 

staff_johnnie

Johnnie Blair

Lead Pastor

Driven Communicator of the Word .Leader of Change.Former Southern Gospel Singer/Songwriter.Family Man.Husband to the Most Amazing Woman in the World.Blessed Beyond Measure.

 

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