Building Character - Building Blocks

8:39:00 AM

In the last post, I left us to ponder over a question. "Who are we when no one is looking?" I think if we can say that we are indeed the same person then without doubt we must be a person of character. But the truth is many times we are not.

When we decide to become men and women of character, there are a few principles that we ought to keep in mind.

The Cost.

"To maintain one's character, one must be ready to pay the price."

A few weeks ago, I decided to replace my laptop's Operating System (OS) from Windows Vista to Windows 7. Vista was slowing down my laptop. So I ring in the computer person and ask him the rates of the OS 7. It was expensive.

Later when I was on the net and browsing through websites at the various prices for Windows 7, I came across websites where we could download the pirated copy of the same OS absolutely free. It got me thinking. I could download the pirated copy and no one would ever know or I could keep my character and go out and buy the original.
I opted for the latter. So I call in the computer guy and bought the original. It felt good on the inside for being able to maintain character.

Character always comes with a price. You see, when I had to replace the OS for my laptop, I had to pay a very expensive price if I wanted the original.

Many times, we are tempted to flaw our character because we have to pay a very expensive price to maintain it. It's not easy. Why pay so much? We are tempted to look at loopholes if any.

The truth about maintaining character despite the cost factor is that although we may have to pay the price which is expensive now, it saves us from having to pay the price of our character later!

Money gone today will sooner or later come back but once character is gone then it takes much longer and in some cases; never at all!

The Inconvenience.

"To maintain one's character, one must be willing to put up with the inconvenience."

Character is something that we have been teaching the youth here at our church. Very recently, one of the girls had a friend come down to visit her. We will call them Dolly and Molly (not their real names!).

Dolly was staying in the hostel. She did not have permission from the warden to let her friend, Molly who was visiting, to stay over. Dolly wanted her to stay in the hostel as it would save them the trouble of money, time, travel etc. and it would be more convenient.

Dolly came to us and asked us what the right thing to do was. We advised her not to break the rules and to maintain her character. Later, she asked us if we could put up Molly at our place and wanting to help her out, we agreed.

You see, Dolly could have broken the rules and the warden would have never come to know. It would have saved her a lot of trouble. But she chose to maintain her character in front of the warden and other hostel mates by choosing to be inconvenient over flawing out her character.

Too many times in our lives, we decide to go with the dark side of character because it is easier than being inconvenient. That's a risk we are often willing to take.

The Rejection.

"To maintain one's character, one must be willing to face rejection."

Taking a stand to do the right thing may not always be the most accepted thing in front of others; in certain cases we may be rejected for doing the right thing.
In his book, "The Next Generation Leader", Andy Stanley writes, "Character is the will to do what is right even when it’s hard.

It's not easy going against the crowd. But standing alone at those times, for the price of character pays its dividends over time.

One of the students came to us and told us that copying during exams was quite common in her class. And she had decided to maintain her character by not copying at all. Her remaining class mates rejected her because she decided to not to copy. They stopped including her in all their activities and time to time they would tease her.

I am sure we have all been in the same position when it came to standing up to do the right thing. We know that if we were to tag along our colleagues, friends or even family members we would be one among them! Otherwise, danger was to having us excluded from the group.

Maintaining character is never easy, and if we have to be rejected by those around us because we tried to maintain our character, then it becomes even more difficult.

But here's what I know: If we are willing to put character over acceptance now, we won't have to face rejection when our character is exposed later. Ultimately we have to face rejection at some point. Its either being rejected temporarily now or being rejected for ever later!

I have just mentioned three reasons here as to why people decide to flaw their character, often times it's not easy to pay the price; it can be inconvenient and it can cause rejection among others.

In the next and final post on this subject, we will look at a practical way of trying to maintain character everyday in our lives.

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