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Daily Encounter: A Week-day Devotional by Richard (Dick) Innes of ACTS International.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Character Counts, Part I

"So get rid of your feelings of hatred. Don't just pretend to be good! Be done with dishonesty and jealousy and talking about others behind their backs. Now that you realize how kind the Lord has been to you, put away all evil, deception, envy, and fraud. Long to grow up into the fullness of our salvation."1

According to the organization, Character Counts, "The Six Pillars of Character are: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship," to which we could add a seventh, personal honesty.

Trustworthiness: Some time back we heard on the news how one teacher failed a student whom she caught cheating on her final exam. The cheater's parents were so outraged that she, the teacher, was forced to resign! Teaching at Harvard Business School years ago, Chuck Colson noted that the students didn't have a clue about ethics. Hence today we are reaping the results of failed businesses. Sadly, cheating for far too many students and people has become an accepted norm by too many today.

But the fact remains, when we break trust, we reap what we sow—even if it is eventually.

Respect: Another thing I was taught when growing up was to respect my elders, open doors for ladies, give my seat on a bus to ladies and the elderly, say thank you when kindnesses are shown to me, etc., etc. Guess I'm still pretty much old-fashioned because I still do these things.

I also believe strongly in respecting and appreciating the men and women in our police force, the armed forces, and all who invest their lives in helping to protect us and the freedoms we enjoy—the price of which has been paid for by others.

And how I wish people would learn from an early age to respect other people's property, the blessings and benefits of our advanced society, and our beautiful countryside!

Responsibility: A very popular pastime these days is the blame-game! Here's a classic example from New York: "A five-foot-10-inch 272-pound man sued four fast-food chains, claiming their fare contributed to his obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

"The class-action lawsuit, which was filed in the Bronx Supreme Court, was seeking undetermined compensatory damages against McDonald's, Wendy's, KFC, and Burger King on behalf of 56-year-old Caesar Barber and others."2

So would I purposely put my hand on a stove hotplate, burn my hand, and then sue the manufacturer of the stove!? I also recall hearing on the news a man being interviewed about smoking. He claimed he should be able to smoke where he wanted to because it was the tobacco company's fault that he was addicted to cigarettes!

Amazing, isn't it! And, can you imagine any lawyer in his right mind and of any character taking on such cases!

To be continued ...

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be trustworthy, respectful, and responsible in all that I am and do and thereby bring glory to Your name. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. 1 Peter 2:1-2 (TLB-NIV).
2. The Orange County Register July 27, 2002, News P. 25.


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