LAWTON CHURCH OF GOD, LAWTON OKLAHOMA

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CHAPTER 7

 

CHARACTER

 

THERE is a structure which everybody is building, each for himself. It is called character. Reputation is what people say about us, but character is what we are as God sees us. If day by day we be careful to build our lives with pure, noble, upright deeds, at the end will stand a fair temple, honored by man and God. But as one leak will sink a ship and one flaw break a strong chain, so one mean, dishonest, untruthful act or word will forever leave its impress and work its influence on our character. Then, let the several deeds unite to form a day and one by one the days grow into noble years, and the years as they slowly pass will rise at last a beautiful edifice enduring forever to our praise.

Here is a great structure going up, piece by piece, story by story, although you are not conscious of it. It is a building of character, and the word of inspiration warns you to take heed in building it to see that you have a foundation that shall endure; to make sure that you are building on it, not for the hour in which you live, but for that hour of revelation when you shall be seen just as you are.

Our minds are given us, but our characters we make. Our mental powers must be cultivated. God gives the mind, but by words, acts, thoughts, and deeds we make our character. The mind is the garden; character is the fruit. The mind is a white page; character is the writing we put on it. The mind is the metallic plate; character is our engraving.

A good character is a precious thing, above rubies, gold, crowns, or kingdoms, and the work of making it is the noblest labor on earth. If aught on earth is despicable, it is those porous masses of conglomerated filth and scum that float on the surface of society, driven or attracted by every speck of circumstances about them. They are purposeless, powerless, enervated automatons playing second fiddle to second chance. One brave will to resist evil and hold fast to good is worth a million of them. One stout soul with a resolute determination to make its own character after the pattern of its own high-wrought ideal is of more real significance than an army of them.

Character is like stock in trade. The more of it a man possesses, the greater his facilities for adding to it. Character is power, is influence. It makes friends, creates funds, draws patronage and support, and opens a sure and easy way to honor and happiness.

Truthfulness is a corner-stone in character, and if it is not firmly laid in youth, there will be ever after a weak spot in the foundation. Under no circumstances should we tell a lie.

The value of character is the standard of human progress. The individuals, communities, nations tell their standing, their advancement, their worth, their true wealth and glory in the eye of God by their estimation of character.

As I have already said, our character is formed by words, thoughts, deeds, and actions. Let us all be careful what we say, how we act, and what we think. Remember, our character is what God sees of us.