These past few days, God has been talking to me about the word “character”. My Bible Study and the books I read would somehow lead me to this topic. And when I looked at the google on how Character was defined, the following meanings appear:
: The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual
: Moral excellence and firmness
: In accord with a person’s usual qualities or traits
These definitions are what I’ll be focusing about in character. (So forget about the other meanings when you decide to search the google.)
Did you ever had the time when you wonder who you really are deep down inside? I’ve heard some people say these words, ‘Sometimes, I just don’t know myself anymore’. I also came to a point that I even said it myself. I even question myself if I’m just acting up in front of others or am I just really trying to do what is right at the moment. For real. I would wonder if this or that would really be what I would decide to do if I won’t have any pressure from pleasing other people.
What I’ve started doing is, I would usually ask myself a question whenever I try to figure out and be honest with myself, of who I really am whenever I encounter a certain thought or a situation.
For example, I’m in a coffee shop and there’s this group of people who are insanely loud, disturbing everyone else in the room, may be fully aware or unaware that everyone else in the room is studying or perhaps trying to chill peacefully. You can guess what I would be thinking at that moment. But it’s easy to act cool and calm, as if, I don’t mind, because there are a lot of people who can see me in case I want to do something about them. I would somehow be conscious of what others may think.
So in that kind of moment that I would ask myself: What would I do if I can do something, knowing that no one is watching and no one will ever know?; Would I trip on them or to anyone else?; Would I do something crazy to anything or anyone in the room? Pretend everything freezes and I’m the only one who is conscious at the moment. (Yes, that’s impossible, but only what if..)
I asked my brother the other night about this type of question. (We talked for hours and it was really nice). I wanted to know his thoughts and what he could have done if he has that kind of opportunity. I gave him questions like: If you are in a building with no one else is in there and no one will ever know what you will do, would you trash the whole place, or steal some money, or fool around?; And if you are in a rooftop with loads of water balloons, would you throw some down the street and hit somebody, knowing that no one will ever know it was you?
In my surprise, my brother was just laughing and with a smirk, he said ‘No. I wouldn’t do anything or any of that. It makes no sense.’ I asked him why. And he said ‘I only do things that I think make sense and not merely because it brings me pleasure. If I trash the place, or steal money knowing that it is wrong in the first place, or even fool around, what is that for me? Temporary excitement. And if I throw water balloons on the street, I’m just gonna hurt somebody or even ruin their day, for what? My temporary happiness. Makes no sense.’ (Yes, I was surprised. I never thought he has that side of him. haha!)
His answer made me realized a lot of truths. To point out a few: First, my brother is amazing and has a good character. I won’t tell him that cause it’s cheezy and it gives me goosebumps. He lives up to his words, ‘Keep it real’. I can actually testify that who he is inside our home is the same person outside of our house; Second, I still have a lot to work on. I gotta admit, I would sometimes think of breaking the rules (and I know I have the tendency to do so – weakness) and do things for temporary pleasure just because I want to, which is actually scary. I was convicted by this simple truth and realization. Third, you’ll most likely to know who you really are based on what you choose to do or how you act when you think no one is around and no one will ever find out. That’s character. And if you find out about how you are deep down, would you want to change it for the better? Is there anything you want to fix? Character can be improve but it will take a lot of effort. (Of course, who says it will be easy?)
Fourth, don’t ever think that no one actually sees you. God always sees everything. He never miss a thing. And as Krista Williams of Proverbs31 Ministry once said,
‘God’s silence does not indicate God’s absence. Just because sin runs its evil course does not mean that God is not watching it unfold. He may be silent, but He is not sightless. Sometimes God’s judgment is the sequel to His silence if we persist in sin.’
And in 1 Samuel 16:7, God says ‘People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’.
And Lastly, I decided to form a conviction aligned to God’s will about such things. I should know where I stand. So when I am put in such situations, I won’t have second thoughts because I already know what I have to do even before the situation came. Of course, only by the grace of God will I ever do the right thing in every situation without compromising God’s word. I cannot and can never accomplish anything alone and without God.
I hope you take time to also analyze yourself. If we know that no one is going to find out our schemes, would we do it? Or would we choose to do good instead? Especially when you know that doing good will please God. But the most important question is, do we actually desire to please God in all that we do? There’s a fine line between wanting to please the Lord and desiring to please Him.
Changing our ways and our hearts can only be possible through God. So pray about it. Ask God for help because in Him, nothing is impossible.