Character – it’s all that will be left
“He’s quite a character!!” Are there people who come to mind when you read that? Sometimes it references someone who is funny or unique in some way. The tone of voice used or context can make it either a positive or negative statement. People might say “he’s a character” to describe a person who is not predictable or not like everyone else. I have met and known some “characters.”
In my high school class of 1973 was a guy, Larry Karraker, who was and still is a character! He is funny, unique and definitely not predictable. He comes to every reunion and has more fun than everyone there and if he wasn’t there, the reunion would not be quite right. Most people can name the “character” in your graduating class.
But there is a much deeper and more important meaning of the word. Dr. David Jeremiah in his book “A Life Beyond Amazing,” points to character as the result of a life we will live if we follow the road map. He says it is “the bridge between our past and future salvation experiences. As our character is transformed, we work out our salvation in the present.”
Dr. Jeremiah points to author Pat Goggins’ description of what it means to develop character through self-discipline. This development happens over time. It happens as we exercise our character so it conforms to the character of Christ. Character, Goggins writes, is the only thing that goes in the casket with you. It’s the thing that people will remember about you when you’re gone.
Here are some descriptions of a person of strong character:
• Character is returning extra change at the grocery store.
• Character is choosing the harder right instead of the easier wrong.
• Character is being committed to the well-being of your family and friends, associates and others, even if it is personally costly.
• A person of Character is self-disciplined and self-controlled.
• Character is setting priorities that honor God, family, country and then career.
• Character is being truthful in all things while being sensitive to the fact that sometimes the truth hurts and need not be spoken.
• A married person of Character acts married all the time.
• Character is being selfless rather than selfish.
• Character is setting a good example.
• Character in its true form is developed over time and, just like steel, is forged to its greatest strength. The fires of daily living are the fires that hone Character.
In today’s world, it seems more difficult to find people of character. So when we see someone who exhibits these traits, we take notice. Last week, Sabetha took time to recognize some people in our community who exhibit Character. Linda McGuire set a good example and gave selflessly to the Booster Club for 25 years. To call LaVon or Don Wenger men of character recognizes the self-discipline and self-control it has taken to move a company from Main Street in Sabetha, to the world stage. Don Montgomery, for years, set a good example by committing his life to serve as State Senator and school board president.
There are more characters in our community. Look for them, join them, emulate them and practice self-discipline so you can become a person of character. What better way to be remembered when you’re gone?