I can still picture the sign on the wall of my middle school home-ec class that read, “Character isn’t something bought, it’s something developed.” Every once in a while, that quote pops into my head, and the older I get, the more truthful it becomes. Another quote that I like about character is Will Rogers; “Lead your life so you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.”
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These quotes are true because, at its core, most of our character that is seen in the public is developed when no one is looking. The person you are out in public and who you are in the privacy of your own home should be the same person. However, if they aren’t, there is a major character problem.
The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is a fantastic example of what true godly character looks like.
If you haven’t heard their story or if the details are a little fuzzy to you, I’ll do a quick recap below;
King Nebuchadnezzar, the king at this time, made a huge golden statue of himself for all the people to bow down and worship. Shortly after it was complete, King Nebuchadnezzar called all the people to come together and bow before this giant replica of himself. Everyone else was on bended knee Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood tall. This, of course, drew the attention of the King, who threatened to kill these three friends by throwing them into a blazing hot furnace. Let’s look at Daniel 3: 16-18 to see Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s response;
Daniel 3:16-18 – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “Your threat means nothing to us. If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king. But even if he doesn’t, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, O king. We still wouldn’t serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.” (MSG)
Their answer is amazing and, in my eyes, is the epitome of what a life filled with Godly character looks like. They didn’t back down from Nebuchadnezzar but stood firm on their faith in God. And what faith they had to claim that God would be there to rescue them from the fire when they had no assurance that would happen. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego displayed character, honor, and integrity because of their faith. They didn’t care what the crowd was doing. All they cared about was glorifying their heavenly father at all costs.
So, here’s the challenge I am issuing you today
What is your character like? What is the state of your character? Are you the same person at work as you are at home? If you were to rank your character on a scale from 1-10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest, where would you rank?