Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Character Matters for Leaders and Followers

I got home kind of early last night and together with Liney, heard Warren (who I haven't always agreed with, but he does adhere to the Essentials and is strongly pro-life) ..in a follow-up interview after the McCain and Obama deal say something very profound (to Hannity and McComb on 8-18-08) that's worth sharing and it went kind of like:

The important political issues change with time; they come and go, but the character of the man is much more important to me. And the character of a man incidentally is not made in a crisis-trial, it is merely revealed in one ..during those very stressy hard times. For President Bush, 9-11 only revealed his true character that was already there in him; it wasn't developed in him while he was in
New York or in Washington during 9-11.

How true! The Apostle Paul who endured some painful trials, said of Christians, "…we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us" (Rom. 5:3-5).

When you think about it, there are really only two kinds of people… //1. Lost and //2. saved. Christian, you are either //1. Going forwards spiritually or //2. Going backwards spiritually. There are only three kinds of people… //1. The natural man (he's lost—spiritual dead inside) and, //2. The carnal man (He's saved and miserable, with one eye on Christ to meet his needs, and one eye on the world to meet his needs) and, //3. the spiritual man (they are saved and thriving; good soil open to the working of the Holy Spirit—see the parable of the sower). When you think about it, there are really only two kinds of Christians: //1. Soul-winners, and //2. Those who need to aggressively grow and advance in order to become better worshippers of Christ who win souls.

You are either: //1. A fishing-missionary or //2. A mission-field that needs the former. When you think about it, there are really only three kinds of people. //1. Those who don't succeed, //2. Those who achieve success temporarily, and //3. Those who become and remain truly successful. The later are thriving in Christ! Having good character and obeying Christ—that's the only way to basically sustain real success. Yes, having an authentic and close relationship with God through Christ is the only way to sustain real fruitfulness—He is the One who sustains it in your life as you abide in Him. No matter how talented, charismatic, educated, rich, famous or attractive people become, they will not be able to outrun their own character. We make or choices and then our choices make us. Individuals of inferior character tend to blame their bad choices on others or on circumstances around them. But ethical people of character make consistently good choices regardless of the circumstances or people they encounter. And if they make enough good choices, those choices will begin to create better conditions for themselves and those around them.

Talking about character and the need for prayer… my little brother, Kyle, informed me yesterday about: 36 Americans who have been accused of spousal abuse… 7 who have been arrested for fraud… 19 who have been accused of writing bad checks… 117 who have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses… 3 who have done time for assault… 71, repeat… 71 who cannot get a credit card due to bad credit… 14 who have been arrested on drug-related charges… 8 who have been arrested for shoplifting… 21 who currently are defendants in lawsuits and 84 who have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year.

Guess which organization all that is referring to? Now, I checked this report out at Snopes and shockingly it's the 435 members (our leaders) of the United States Congress… the same group that cranks out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line.

Of course I don't always want to come off as some sermonic-blog-maniac, but where are you at? I feel it's time for each of us to be praying more... discerning better, avidly in the Word and controlled by the Spirit as twenty-four-seven-three-sixty-five evangelistic Christians. It's time for godly character to be in you, in me, and in all those who we will allow to lead us in the future! Let's get up off our blessed assurance and do something about this!

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