I've been reading the book, "Resolved" by Orrin Woodward, and in chapter 2, Character is the main subject. Wow. You know how when you get a blue car, you notice all the blue cars that are really out there!? The same goes when you are aware of what character is, and what lack of character looks like.
The author says, "In a person's life, he will have many opportunities to choose between character and reputation. In order to make the right choice, he must understand the separate virtues that, when combined create an immovable character."
I am increasingly aware of people's character or lack of, and even my own. I am concerned about the downward slide in character in everyday lives. For example, we would all say that it is of course wrong to lie. But do we lie to ourselves when we tell ourselves that we are going to get up an extra 15 minutes early to maybe spend more time with God or exercise, and then hit snooze 3 times!?
Or maybe we wonder why people don't trust us and never realize that we lie to ourselves when we have on our voicemail message that we will "get back to you as soon as possible", but then never get back to someone at all?
Or what about when we say we will be somewhere at a certain time, and then constantly show up late?
I am right there with you on some of these things, and yet being aware of it, I now feel convicted every time I slip in my character. There are so many areas of character that the majority of people never take the time to improve upon....paying bills on time, standing up for truth when it is falsely presented, being honest regardless of the cost- taxes, saying how much you paid for a vehicle in order to pay the proper tax etc.
Think of a bully situation. You may not be accused of wrong-doing if you were merely standing along the sidelines and see someone get bullied. No, you didn't participate in that bad activity, but character says, "I cannot stand to the side and let this happen, or even walk away and not get involved." Character defends, protects, stands in the gap, and does the right thing whether is is in the best interest of reputation or not.
A speaker I recently heard said, "Unless you are aware that you have many areas to improve upon, and unless you realize that you are no better than anyone else, don't you dare go talk to someone about how they are living, because you probably have the worst character issues of all."