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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Character Counts, Part II

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."1

Yesterday, in discussing seven pillars of character (the first six of which are from Michael Josephson of the organization, Character Counts), we talked about, trustworthiness, respect and responsibility. Today we address the following characteristics: fairness, caring, citizenship, and personal honesty (integrity).

Fairness: It is true that in many ways life isn't fair, for as the Bible says, "It rains on the just as well as the unjust."2 This is one reason why bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. We just happen to live in a broken world, which affects us all. However, we can offset much of the unfairness of life, if we all seek to treat all people at all times with fairness.

Caring: The highest law always ought to be as God's Word teaches: to love one another.3 If we truly love God, we will love and care for one another. And as Jesus said, if we love God and others, we will be fulfilling all of God's laws.4 In so doing, we can and will make our world a better place for ourselves, our children, and our children's children.

Citizenship: As the Australian Citizenship website states, "Citizenship is a serious commitment." Whether we are citizens of a country or citizens of heaven, while we have privileges and rights, we also have duties and responsibilities. Good citizenship requires both. Thus to have healthy communities, along with our rights and our privileges, it is our duty and responsibility to be model citizens and all work together to make our church, our club, our family, our society, and our nation a better world in which to live.

Personal Honesty (integrity): In my opinion, denial is perhaps one of the most practiced, subtle, and self-destructive "sins of the saints."

When we speak of denial, we are not talking about denial of self, which, with an honest motive, is another healthy characteristic. We're talking about denial of one's reality, the failure to admit one's character weaknesses, the denial of one's negative feelings, and blindness to one's motives.

We are reminded that it is the pure in heart who will see God5 and that God desires truth in the innermost being.6

Without access to one's own truth or inner reality, there is no growth, no healing of persons, no forgiveness, and no resolution of personal problems or relational conflicts.

So here they are—seven pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, citizenship, and personal honesty.

And whether we believe and accept it or not, character does count ... for time and eternity!

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be mindful of the fact that character does count. Help me not only to be trustworthy, respectful and responsible, but also exercise fairness, always be caring (loving), practice good citizenship, and always be honest and maintain integrity so that in all ways I will be like Christ and bring glory to Your name. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Matthew 5:8 (NASB). 2. Matthew 5:45.  3. John 13:34.  4. Matthew 22:40.  5. Matthew 5:8.  6. Psalm 51:6.


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