A lot of times, we hear people talk about someone as a man of character. Other times, someone might be described as an unreliable character. Sometimes, we hear them referred to as quite a character ! When people begin to talk about character, there could be a dozen different shades to their tone. They might be sounding impressed, awed, disgusted, frightened, amused, bemused or a combination of these reactions. What exactly is character ? The dictionary would tell you that it is, basically, an attribute or a quality that defines a person. This means that you are defined by a certain set of habits, qualities or attitudes and these form the basis upon which your character is judged. Character can have positive or negative associations. For instance, when someone is called a man of character, the unsaid adjective is a positive one. It means that he is ethically and morally upright and can be trusted. When someone is just a character, it means that he is unique. He could be funny, awkward, interesting or ridiculous. But he has a strong distinctive personality that sets him apart from others. Every attribute of yours goes into the building of your character. If someone were to describe YOU as a character, they would take into consideration all aspects of your personality, including your physical appearance, your social habits, your psychological reactions and other people’s perception of your strengths. In fact, the last aspect (other people’s perceptions of you character) is what goes into giving you a reputation, whether positive or negative. Author Annie Zaidi. Copyright 2004. indianchild.com Peer pressure is all about being forced into a certain way of living, dressing, talking, socializing and even thinking? Simply because that is how everyone else you know behaves, dresses, talks, socializes and thinks. This is common among people who generally mix with people their own age. And mind you, this is definitely not restricted to youngsters. People across all age groups are subject to peer pressure. An office-worker is subject to as much pressure from his or her peers as a young college student. All of us wish to gain and retain the respect and admiration of our peers. After all, we have to believe that others are our equals before we want to impress them. And if we cannot win their approval, we struggle to ensure that we don’t face their disapproval or ridicule either. It can be terribly painful to watch a peer humiliating us or even speaking negatively about us. The matter of peer pressure becomes particularly difficult for youngsters because, thanks to the demands of education, sports, and other circumstances; they spend almost ninety percent of their waking hours with their peers. And they rarely have the choice of not mixing with those particular peers. Young people can be often blunt and insensitive in their dealings with each other. And they are very quick to notice differences of habit, dress and social behavior. As a result, you might be compelled to buy the latest fashions in clothes and accessories because everyone else does the same, regardless of cost or comfort. You might end up reading what they read, watching the same television programs and movies that others watch and using the same language that they use. Otherwise, you feel left out of all the conversations. You might end up staying out late at night or eating out all the time, simply because that is what the others do, regardless of whether you can afford to or not. The best way to counter peer pressure is to select your friends very carefully. Preferably, your friends should be in a mixed group of people. That keeps everyone rooted and more tolerant of differences. Remember 1Cor 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived, bad company corrupts good character.” The second is to muster your courage and to tell people to mind their own business, if and when they begin to interfere with your life. Sure, a few people may be offended. But they will also learn to be less offensive themselves, in future. And most importantly, you have to remember that you are an individual and a unique one. And your decisions to eat, drink, dress, talk, go out, read or think are your own. If others don’t share these interests or habits, too bad. Let your peers and friends catch up with you. If they can’t, find new friends.
While character can be easily explained as the attribute or habit of an individual, it is harder to discuss flaws of the character. Character is a neutral concept, but when we are discussing flaws, we are making a negative value judgment. To determine what comprises a character flaw, we have to decide the most basic and eternal of all questions? What is right and wrong? What is the difference between good and bad? Positive and negative? The best place to find the answer to this question is in the Word. Read the Bible. It will guide you, help you make the right character choices and decisions. However, it is important to remember that character is holistic ... it encompasses all aspects of our lives. And yet, it is almost impossible to find even one person who is not flawed in some way. By those standards, we all have flawed characters. Perhaps, it is not realistic to expect flawless characters. What society (and that means all of us) does object to is the kind of flaw that is detrimental to others. For instance, I may drink too much diet Coke. But no one would really describe it as a character flaw. Too much diet Coke consumption is not likely to hurt others around me. But if I did something that did affect other people or their livelihoods, their health, their safety or even their moods that would really bother everyone. For instance, if I constantly fly into violent fits of temper, it would be unacceptable. No one would want me in the classroom, and after a certain point, I would be told to seek another place of employment and probably medical treatment because I pose a risk to society. When analyzing characters, your own or anyone else’s, remember to keep this in mind: If flaws, or negative twists of character, are inevitable, it is better to leave those alone that are merely personal choices (perfection is unattainable) and to focus on changing those flaws that affect others. And always remember that there is Right and there is Wrong. Those who say differently are trying too hard to be “politically correct”.
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Drugs, alcohol, child abuse, spousal abuse, car accidents, illegal aliens dying etc. etc. Wanted to be a ranger because I wanted to help people. But still left an empty feeling. God was speaking but I wasn’t listening… I wasn’t prepared to do what I was asked to do… I was hurt … 5150 story… still wasn’t ready to listen!! Wife gets a boyfriend & moved out, leaving me and the two kids…. Still didn’t stop to listen My Dad’s cancer was in remission for 5 years but comes back and he dies in less than 6 months; still too busy to listen. Lose my job, lose my wife, lose my paycheck, lose my house and basically everything we owned.Every time God closed a door, I refused to accept it and forced that door open … only to get it slammed in my face again!! Finally after a great deal of prayer, my pastor told me to “STOP”, “SIT” “PRAY” and “LISTEN”. He told me about: James 1:4 - "So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything." He also told me to take the time to hear what God is telling me, I gave up and couldn’t do it by myself. Cory told me to lift these burdens up off of my shoulders and to lift them up to the Lord . James 1:22-"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." I realized that God was closing these doors and that He was leading me somewhere else. This is when I realized He was leading me into teaching … at a Christian School … …. At MVCJH: I was now prepared to do what needed to be done… I know that God wants me here!!! 1 Thessalonians 5:14-"And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone."
What’s the most important thing you can do with the short time you have on this Earth? Obviously… to accept Jesus as your absolute lord and savior. Most of you have already done that at this time… I hope… BUT NOW WHAT? … Is that enough?… I don’t think so.
How many have seen “Saving Private Ryan”?… At the end of the movie… Tom Hanks lies mortally wounded after seeing most of his eight men killed all trying to save this one man… reaches up, grabs Private Ryan and says, “Earn this!” Then drops his head and dies… You must live the rest of your life striving to “Earn this” but as you and I both know… we will never “Earn This”. It comes through His grace towards us… a lot like slurpees at lunch… We will never be able to “Earn” our salvation… but we can develop a life style that will demonstrate to others our Christian Character and Integrity. We can go out and preach the gospel and convert the masses…. Not me, couldn’t do that… I’d love to be able to but that’s not for everyone… We could sing praises to the Lord…. Nope, not me… music and I don’t often collide in the same sentence… Maybe through CHI?
What’s “CHARACTER” - The combined moral and ethical structure of a person. Moral and ethical strength. Quote 1: Character is what you are in the dark. Quote 2: Every person has three characters: that which he shows, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has. Quote 3: The measure of a person's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be caught.
What’s “HONOR” - A code of dignity, and pride. Personal honesty maintained without legal or other obligation. Quote: The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
What’s “INTEGRITY” - Rigid adherence to a code or standard of values. Quote. Few men have the integrity to withstand the highest bidder. (George Washington)
Maybe you could develop a lifestyle where your Character, your individual Honor Code and your Integrity will help you be the better person… the person someone in a crowd will see and say “ Wow, what a nice person. I’ll bet (s)he’s a Christian. I’d like to be like that!”
Story 1: Watching an “Andy Griffith” episode w/ dual plots… Rich kid speeding thru town crashes into someone and is arrested by the sheriff. Opie playing baseball, breaks a neighbors window and he is torn between lying about it, he knows he could get away w/ it but decides to tell his dad… dad thanks him for his honesty but still makes him pay for the window… Opie takes the punishment and goes on… rich kid tells Andy that he’s too hard on his son… Rich kid’s Dad’s lawyer shows up, has paid off the guy the kid crashed into and convinces him to lie to Andy… The lawyer will do anything to get the rich kid off…. Finally the rich kid says no! Stands up for what’s right and “Pays for his window”
Another Lawyer story: A man commits three very bad crimes and gets away w/ it. His conscious gets the best of him and he confess to the crimes, turns himself in to the police. He repents and asks God’s forgiveness. The company he works for hires him a very expensive lawyer who’s only thought is to do what ever it takes to get his client off, to him, the lawyer, that’s what it means to be a “Good Lawyer”… the company told the lawyer to say the man was “insane” when he committed the crimes. The man isn’t insane; he simply knows that he has to accept responsibility for his actions and go to jail for his punishment… BUT after hours of talking w/ the man the lawyer isn’t so sure says” People think it’s hard to do the right thing. The man replies, “ It’s not hard to do the right thing… It’s hard to know what the right thing is… once you know what’s right… it’s hard not to do it.” If you live you’re life with “CHI” it’s much easier to know what’s right and as a result… doing the right thing, the Christian Thing” soon becomes natural.
What Are You Prepared to Do?
"Come in," God said. "So, you would like to interview Me?" If you have the time," I said. God smiled and said: "My time is eternity and is enough to do everything; what questions do you have in mind to ask me?" "What surprises you most about mankind? "God answered: "That they get bored of being children, are in a rush to grow up, and then long to be children again.That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health. That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live neither for the present nor the future. That they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they had never lived . . ."God's hands took mine and we were silent for a while and then I asked "As a parent, what are some of life's lessons you want your children to learn?" God replied with a smile: "To learn that they cannot make anyone love them. What they can do is to let themselves be loved. To learn that what is most valuable is not what they have in their lives, but who they have in their lives. To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others. All will be judged individually on their own merits, not as a group on a comparison basis! To learn that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but is one who needs the least. To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love, and that it takes many years to heal them. To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness. To learn that there are persons that love them dearly, but simply do not know how to express or show their feelings. To learn that money can buy everything but happiness. To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see it totally different. To learn that a true friend is someone who knows everything about them . . . and likes them anyway. To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they have to forgive themselves." I sat there for awhile enjoying the moment. I thanked Him for his time and for all that He has done for me and my family, and He replied, "Anytime. I'm here 24 hours a day. All you have to do is ask for me, and I'll answer." People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
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