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“SACRICTY OF CHARACTER” – July 31

July 31, 2013

“O Jerusalem, wash your heart from evil, that you may be saved.  How long shall your wicked thoughts lodge within you.”  Jeremiah 4:14

Anthony Weiner

Anthony Weiner (Photo credit: maxintosh)

It seems that news stories continue to materialize that are themed upon character and character seems to be scarce.  The character of Anthony Weiner has overshadowed his New York City Mayoral candidacy.  San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has had to answer the questions that revolve around his character.  The main character of Lance Armstrong’s saga is his character.  The bankruptcy of the City of Detroit has been attributed by some to past leaders’ character.

Új fejezetek Oprah-tól: Lance Armtrong - exklu...

The news seems to be a perpetual drip of politicians, entertainers, and athletes who have been caught doing what they should not have been doing.  We have all witnessed the great effusion of apologies and explanations of the famous whose character was tested and found lacking.

John Wooden at a ceremony on Oct. 14, the coac...

I have heard character defined as who you are when no one is looking.  However, I don’t know if that definition goes far enough.

When are we truly alone?  When are we really free from the accountability?  The famous UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden, defined character a little better.

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. ~ John Wooden

Who I really am is my character. 

My true character is what no one can see. My character resides in a place of solitude beyond the perception of others.  No one can know my true character because no one can know my thoughts.  Occasionally, an unfiltered thought may slip out, but for most of us our self-control plays an effective guardian over what we really are.

However, our true character is:

That curse word that comes out of nowhere.
That appetite for knowing the latest gossip.
That snicker when the proud fall.
That precise accounting of personal sacrifice.
That want for what others have.
That necessity to avoid the indecent.
That falsehood charmed to escape a trap.
That flash of anger from a slight.
That snarky come-back that forms a day late.
That pride in being humbled.
That competition to be better than others.
That warm feeling of praise.
That desire to be made much of.

The fact that these traits rarely materialize into actions does not negate the reality of their existence.  Character is what you really are.  The thoughts of our mind are our true character traits.

Based on this definition, who has character?  There are no people of character when judged upon our thoughts.  Just because you do the right things, even when there is no one around to see, does not mean you are a person of character.  A person of true character will be a righteous person in deeds and thoughts.  We know that there is none righteous, not even one. (Romans 3:10)  Therefore, we know that there is no person of character, not even one.

We need to honestly examine our thoughts to know are character.

I would be embarrassed for my thoughts to be known.  The war of my mind betrays who I really am.  The battle to set my mind on the things of the Spirit is a continual reminder of my need for a Savior.  I am not righteous.  Any righteousness that is within me comes from the grace and mercy of my Lord.  Any traits that might be called character are a result of the work of the Spirit.  There is no place for pride of character.  I am a man in need of grace from a merciful God.

My thoughts have convinced me of that.

PRAYER: Lord, I am a sinner.   Thank you for removing the condemnation of my sin.  Thank you for forgiving me and cleansing  me.  Forgive me for being proud of my  character.  Forgive me for taking credit for your work within me.  Lord, please continue that work.  I know that there is a lot of work that remains to be done.  Father, I want all that I do and think to glorify and please you.  Help me to set my mind on the things of the Spirit.  Help me to think upon that which is true, honorable, just, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise.  Help me to think about these things.  Change my thoughts.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.

11 comments

  1. Thanks for the post. My thoughts show my real character and how much I need Christ. Your prayer is a good way to reorient my thinking toward God.


  2. Another thought-provoking post JD. The character list makes looking in the mirror a tad off-putting – but it must be done. Thanks for the encouragement JD!


  3. I love the ‘character’ list. It made me examine myself.


  4. Convicting…our real self will always reveal itself


  5. Reblogged this on thinkinaboutjesus and commented:
    Thoughts on our true character. Great post.


  6. You have truly hit the nail on the head. Thank you for this awesome post.


  7. The prayer is penetrating. Your piece hits on a few themes that are “real” (for lack of better word) to me. Character comes with the need to evaluate my vulnerability to subtle temptations. I have never heard the word “sacricity”. The word “sacred” is very important when used accurately. Okay, I guess enough said. Keep writing, and keep living in a way that fuels your writing.


  8. Well-written, JD! You are so right: renewing of the mind is the way to character. Transformation is only possible with the help of God. I’m with ckisler above; your prayer speaks eloquently for all of us. Thank you for your honesty.


  9. Shared your blog on my blog. Your prayer is my prayer today and hopefully everyday. Thanks.


  10. […] "SACRICTY OF CHARACTER" – July 31. […]


  11. This is a great prayer. I love the words. I’m saving them as a reminder that I need his love and grace each and every day.



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