Is your character up to par?

“You have searched me, Lordand you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.”

When I was a little boy, I once heard my grandmother say, “Be careful what you are doing, make sure it is something you’d want to be doing when Christ comes back.”

As a kid, it stuck in my head. I mean, what a thought, especially while sitting on the toilet; but, it is something to consider. As I have grown older, I translate it in the area of character. It is easy to do the right thing when people are around but what about when they aren’t around? Is your integrity and my integrity as strong when no one is watching?

The irony of it all is God sees us all the time whether we like it or not. He knows every aspect of our lives – the good, the bad, and the ugly. How we act ALL the time is very important to God but probably more so when we are alone and could do wrong and we choose to do right.

My dad told me a story about a golfer named Bobby Jones. Mr. Jones was a legendary golfer. He won the “Grand Slam,” a title given to the golfer who wins all four major tournaments in the U.S. and Britain in a single year. Bobby Jones, however, is known even more for his sportsmanship. The story is told in 1925 during the U.S. Open, Jones set up his ball and his iron accidentally touched the ball. Jones turned to the marshal and called a penalty strike on himself. The marshal had not seen the act but left the decision to Jones if the penalty would be enforced as a two-stroke penalty. Bobby Jones took the penalty and lost the tournament by one stroke.

In today’s social media world, we would say, “the story went viral;” but, in 1925, the story tore through the media like a wild fire. When asked about his decision, Jones stated, “You may as well praise a man for not robbing a bank!”

Today, the United States Golf Association’s honors sportsmanship with an award known as the “Bobby Jones Award.”

What do you do when no one is watching? It is something to consider. Character means we do the right thing not only when people are around but when we are alone. It is how we react when things do not go our way. Character is our response under pressure; when we are inconvenienced; when our plans are changed; when we lose; and even when we win. It is grace under fire, and it is an expected attribute of a Christian.

Sometimes I wonder if God thinks of our actions and wishes we wouldn’t represent Him. I remember hearing a quote from Ghandi, “I might have been Christian, if not for the Christians I’ve known.” Character counts…every day…every minute…every second. Remember today as you interact with others.

Is your character up to par?

 


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