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 in regards to character is by 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, the majority of our character that is seen in the public is developed when no one is looking. The person that you are out in the 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 and when 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 – 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 form 1-10 with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest, where would you rank?
Take a second to really examine yourself in this area and if you feel so lead, share your thoughts and feelings on this subject in the comment section below.