Wouldn’t it be nice if our character was like that? What if we could develop courage and never think about it again?
What if we could learn to love really well and then put that one to rest?
We know that is not how life works. On the other hand, are we daily pursuing the development of our character? It’s actually harder than you think. On the other hand it’s not, in that we have daily opportunities to build upon our character.
Let’s take a look at several aspects of our character.
Courage: every day we are faced with choices between convenience and courage. Paul reminds Timothy that God has not given us the spirit of fear. 1 Timothy 1:6.
Discipline: this is doing today so you can have what you want tomorrow. Just like the boxer trains for the next match so we must do things today with tomorrow in sight. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV).
Delayed Gratification: sometimes we just have to work for something or wait on God’s timing. Jesus faced this in His own ministry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread” (Matthew 4:3 ESV).
Contentment: being thankful for what we have is always a challenge while we are on the journey to attaining or accomplishing more. But godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6 ESV)
Perseverance: the test of your character is what it takes to stop you. This phrase has been repeated countless times. The apostle Paul was able to come to the end of his life saying, I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7 ESV)
Love: this is not to be understood as a noun. It is a verb! That means it takes work just like all the other aspects of character. This one goes right up at the top. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Realize you will never be done. You can’t work on one and then go to the next one. No. You must work at spinning all the plates at the same time. Daily you will have opportunities to continue construction on your character.
How’s the building coming?
Once again let’s gain some insight from the NFL Playoffs. Let me start by saying that everyone knows that Peyton Manning continually attempts to get the defensive line to jump with his unique style of calling signals.
In the San Diego/Denver game I’m sure that was talked about among the coaches and players. Easy enough. Or perhaps not so easy.
During the game the defensive line jumped into the neutral zone bringing upon themselves a five yard penalty. Not once, but several times.
Why? Lack of discipline.
Actually the game turned out to be decided by just seven points, one touchdown.
In a close game those multiply penalties absolutely kill you.
As I said in the last post just lacking in one of these areas in your personal PDA can kick your butt. Someone said, “If if could kick the person responsible for most of my problems I wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week.”
The defensive line still may not be sitting down!
This is not always as easy as it sounds. Typically there are several things in our day or week that we simply are not fond of doing.
That’s why it takes discipline.
We know what we need to do. San Diego knew they needed to be aware of the hard count and not jump.
Discipline is doing what needs to be done even though you don’t want to do it, so you can eventually do what you want to do.
Had San Diego not jumped off sides, they may be still playing. That’s what they wanted to do.
Discipline, or the lack of discipline kept them from their wants.
Today, identify just one thing that needs your attention and go out and do it.