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Another election season rolls around. Political conventions and political ads fill the airwaves. Everybody has an opinion and once again the question of character comes up. Is he? Did she? What about her? Can you trust him? Will she keep her promises? These and other questions about candidates often revolve around character, but I think we have really missed the point.
The real question of character has to start closer to home. It isn’t about who lives in the White House, it is about who lives in our house. It is about you and me and how we live! Let’s face it, these days being a person of character is hard. There are so many temptations, so many opportunities to bend our principles, that it is hard to maintain our integrity.
We struggle with character issues on a daily basis, but we must start with ourselves. We are part of the problem, but by God’s grace we can be part of the solution as well. D.L.Moody said years ago, “Character is what you are in the dark.” Character is what you do when no one is looking, when no one can find out.
So, how does your character measure up “in the dark?” Do you gossip about others when it is safe? What about jealousy, does it eat at you? Are you one of those secret complainers? Or maybe you think a little lying and cheating is harmless. Recent research indicates that the current generation of high school students is more likely to cheat, steal or lie than their counterparts just 10 years ago! Not only are we struggling with our own character issues, we are not transferring solid ethics and morals to the next generation.
I wish I could say these character issues did not affect the Church, but recent surveys would prove me wrong. They show that as many as 50 percent of Christian men (including pastors) struggle with online pornography. It is difficult and daunting to imagine the magnitude of this problem. The advent of the Internet with its impersonal anonymity has begun to erode the foundations of family life and of faith.
One of America’s Founding Fathers, John Adams Said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Laws cannot give us character, they can only warn us of consequences. Our nation needs us to be men and women of character.
The crisis in character can only get better when we begin to earnestly desire real character in ourselves. That means going humbly before God and letting His light shine in. Daniel tells us that He “reveals the deep and hidden things and knows what lies in darkness” Dan 2:22. You probably already know where you struggle, but the Lord can show you how to conquer your character. Allow Him to show you the path to character.
Trust Him to show you the way.