Character Counts

Scott Hamilton

by Scott Hamilton on Monday, 23rd September 2019

Over the next few weeks we are going to spend some time here on the Harvest Glasgow blog thinking about character. The hope is that is will be really helpful to all of us who tend to answer the question 'who are you?' with answers more befitting to the question 'what do you do?'

We too readily define ourselves by role and function when God, in His Word and by His work, is showing that what defines us more is the kind of person we are than it is the kind of purpose that we fulfill. In fact the Bible is clear that our qualification for and effectiveness in role is normally validated and vindicated by some deeper inner realities. Character is, as someone once described it, who you are when no one is looking. It is what comes up in the inner monologue as you are doing the mindless chore. It is the reaction to others when they catch you off guard. Character is fruit of God's grace, born out of repentance, exercised in forgiveness and shown in obedience.

The virtue of a man ought to be measured, not by his extra-ordinary exertions, but by his everyday conduct.

Blaise Pascal

Our world tends to value competence over character and the danger is that we fall into the trap of missing what really counts. The fruit of the Spirit (so basically the outcome of God's work in our lives) are all character things. The qualification of leaders in 1 Timothy and Titus are all character things. We are told that 'man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.' (1 Samuel 16: 7). So what does what is on your heart or the desires of your heart or the attitude of your heart today tell you about what is characterising your life today?

This Sunday at Harvest Glasgow we are going to be carrying on our Longing For Home series working through 1 Peter. We have reached 1 Peter 1: 13-16 and there we find the call to character that reflects God's work in our lives and, more importantly, who we believe God is. So, that question again, who are you? Or maybe, as you ask God to examine your heart today, what are you going to ask Him to change about you?