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Character II


“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”- St. Paul the Apostle

We looked at character last week; saw how it is formed, and then some facts on that. Today and in the weeks ahead, we want to turn our attention on what constitutes a good character. I am going to use Paul’s letter he wrote to the Galatians in the Bible as my template.  

In the Christian circles, one of the common terms is fruit of the spirit. What is that? It is when one becomes a Christian and relies on the Holy Spirit, a divine helper, to shape his conduct into a Christlike one. As Christians, our role model is Jesus Christ, who was the embodiment of these virtues. The first three we will look at concerns our attitude.

1. Love– in the Greek culture when this letter was penned, love had three different connotations: romantic love, shared goodwill (friendship) and familial love (as pertaining to parents and children especially). Paul didn’t have any of these in mind, but talked about a superior kind of love called agape in the Greek which means universal love and loving like God. Out of love, will all the attributes listed alongside flow. Each one of the attributes we will look at has its base in love. This kind of love is unconditional and has no hidden motives or strings attached. Let me end with this quote by Paul on love which explains it better.

“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-8‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

2. Joy- it has to do with having a disposition of a calm delight and cheerfulness. It is deeper than happiness which depends on the happenings around you. Joyful people don’t necessarily need external happenings or indicators to be merry. It is from within and radiates outwardly. A joyful person rarely gets moody. How do you know you are joyful? When you can easily let go of grudges and forgive easily. Forgiveness is a result of inner peace and calmness.

3. Peace- anybody who has an attitude of joy has peace, they are interwoven. So, what is peace? It is a state of inner tranquility. It is more than being a peacemaker. You can be a peacemaker, but if you don’t have inner tranquil, you are truly not at peace. Peace is a rare commodity today; people are searching and looking at the wrong avenues for that. From my personal experience, one of the best ways to experience peace is through prayer

“Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NCV‬‬

I hope this scripture will encourage you to pray. You may ask, “how do I pray?” It is just like talking to a friend. There is no superstition about that. God hears and answers prayers! Peaceful people are confident and hopeful. You lack peace if you fret a lot and always pessimistic. How do you handle interviews? How do you deal with unexpected emergency situations? How do you handle pressure? Does a failed project get the best of you and make you fold? I pray peace upon anyone reading.

As we step into this new week, let us challenge ourselves to developing a good attitude. Our attitude will determine our altitude indeed. Don’t beat yourself up and throw your hands in despair if these are lacking. No one is perfect including this writer. We are all “work-in-progress”. Be rather encouraged and go all out!

Will love to read your thoughts and comments on this one. Your feedback is valuable to me and please don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to this blog

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Character


Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny”- Lao Tzu

Based on this quote, character is the summation of who you are. It starts from your thought life to the formation of your habits which in turn shapes who you are. Will love to read your definition of character when you comment. Character is very essential, because it reveals your destiny. Destiny is not a mystery- if you want to know yours or another’s, look at the character, that is key.

Today, let us look at some truths on character that could give us a macro view on this all important subject:

1. Character is not the same as reputation 

Character is not your reputation. Reputation is what other people think you are, but character is what you really are. Character is who you are when nobody is looking. It is who you are when you are not on stage. I have heard couples bemoan the fact when the marriage turns sour that, “I thought he or she had character”. I normally respond to that in my thoughts, “he or she is a character but never had one: huge difference”. In most replationships, especially at the beginning, reputation will play off till you subject that relationship to time to see the cracks in the person’s reputation and that is when the real him or her shows up- character. I am not an expert on relationships, but one advice to give is take your time when forming one. Let the relationship be tested and don’t swoon too much into “Lala-Land”. It is one thing to be praised in public that you are a man of honesty and integrity, it is another when you are by yourself with no press, and tempted to “cook the books”. D.L. Moody said it best, “character is who you are in the dark”.

2. Character is also determined by your network.

Heard this phrase as a child, “show me your friend and I will show you your character”. Every human has five strong influences that will shape your upbringing on this earth, and one of them is company. Traits and habits can be learnt and passed on. Maybe, it is time to audit your relationships this week and trace why some habits, whether positive or negative are reoccurring in your life presently. A series of habits is the last stage in forming your character according to Tzu. When I look at my life personally, one good trait I developed was writing notes. I didn’t use to write notes and saw no need for that, until one day, I sat by a friend in Sunday School called Solomon who was always writing. As our friendship developed, I saw the benefits of writing in him. Perhaps without him and learning that from him, I would not be here today penning a blog. I met this guy in my pre-teens, though life has taken us in different directions, one of the many positives I picked from him is documenting and I am grateful for that. We thought our parents were the fun police when they told us not to hang around or play with certain people. In hindsight, what they were really telling us is the people you play with today could end up forming your character which will predict your destiny. Your network indeed determines your net worth.

3. Character can be reshaped

There is nothing as a permanent character. To me, I see it very temporary. You can be good today, bad tomorrow; optimistic today, pessimistic tomorrow; grateful today, ungrateful tomorrow. Why do I say that? Because the first step to forming a character, whether positive or negative, has to do with your thought life- what words are you reading, what conversations do you have and what images are you watching. Basically, your information base is where your thoughts are formed. When one undergoes a criminal investigation, one of the things the detectives do is to find out his knowledge base, hence seize his laptop, go through his library, screen his phone conversations and check his financial statements (which speaks of what he is passionate about) among many more. Your knowledge base tells a lot about you- by this assessment they build your profile to tell your character and that is a clue to whether you are a suspect in their case or not. All that I am saying is, if your thought life changes, it will go a long way in determining your character. 

Let me end with this quote again. Perhaps, today will be a good time to muse on what changes we all need to make when it comes to character:

“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny”- Lao Tzu

Will like to read your comments because your feedback means a lot to me. Please don’t also forget to like, share or subscribe to this blog.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love 

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Integrity

I thought I understood this word till I came across this word, Structural Integrity Test which has to do with testing an existing stricture’s ability to carry the assigned load limit. In a sense, the existing structure is being tested for its wholeness.

It is so funny how little things can flick the light bulb in our heads. From that day, I understood why integrity is wholeness. The root word for integrity is from the Latin adjective, integer. In Maths, an integer is divisible by 2 if its last digit is 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8. It is considered a whole number

Integrity is when the thoughts of our minds, the desires of our hearts and our actions are integrated. That is a state of wholeness. So for instance, when I think of making a call, I don’t just desire or want to do it, but will also follow through with my action by calling. In this part of the world I live in, the elections will be next year, and the buzz word we will hear from every politician is, “I am a man or woman of integrity”

So, the question is how I do become a man or woman of integrity? Let me share this quote:

“Integrity is not a given factor in everyone’s life. It is a result of self discipline, inner trust and a decision to be relentlessly honest in all situations in our lives”

According to John Maxwell, self discipline, inner trust and most importantly, a decision to be honest can make us people of integrity

Mediate on how these three qualities can be enhanced in your personal life. The development of these three will lead us down the route to integrity

May we indeed be people of wholeness. I wish you a happy new month

I will like to read your thoughts on this. Your feedback is deeply appreciated. Please don’t forget to like, share or subscribe to this blog

Till we meet again…

Peace & Love