"Epaphras, who is one of yourselves, a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. [He is] always striving for you earnestly in his prayers, [pleading] that you may [as persons of ripe character and clear conviction] stand firm and mature [in spiritual growth], convinced and fully assured in everything willed by God."1
A psychologist once noted three tests of a great character: The capacity for great love; the capacity for great enthusiasm; and the capacity for great indignation. To which I would add a fourth: The capacity for great integrity.
First, the capacity for great love. No matter how successful we might be in the eyes of the world or how rich in material possessions, life—without love—is empty and meaningless and chances are that we will die long before our time. It may not be the most desirable, but we can live without romantic love, but we cannot live meaningfully or healthily without at least one loving relationship. Every person needs to know that they are loved, wanted, and needed by at least one other person.
Second, the capacity for great enthusiasm. The word enthusiasm comes from the prefix, "en" meaning "in" and the Greek root, "theos" meaning "God". In other words, genuine and lasting enthusiasm is that which has its roots en-theos; that is, in God. It has been said that love makes the world go round; but it really is love with enthusiasm that does this and, in turn, achieves the noblest things in life for the benefit of mankind.
Third, the capacity for great indignation. So many ask or wonder how can a God of love become so indignant and angry? If God didn't become indignant and angry at sin and evil—which is totally destructive to those whom He loves (us)—He wouldn't be God. He would be some kind of spineless being at best and some kind of a demon at worst. Also, if you and I don't get indignant and angry at sin and evil, we don't really care for or love righteousness. It isn’t possible to have one without the other. There are many things in life that we need to get indignant and angry about. In other words, we need to love the things God loves and hate the things that God hates. While God hates sin He loves the sinner. We need to do the same.
And fourth, the capacity for great integrity. Integrity means that we keep our word and do what we say we are going to do, that we have high moral and ethical values and live by them, that we live in harmony with the laws of God and the laws of the land unless to do the latter would defy the laws of God.
I've borrowed today's title, "Character Counts" from Michael Josephson, of Character Counts. However, the character that really counts for both time and eternity is character that has its roots in God.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to so live that when I come to the end of my journey here on earth may it be said of me: 'He/she was a man/woman of character whose life reflected the Spirit of Jesus in all that he/she did and said.' Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Colossians 4:12 (AMP).