My good friend Alan has a saying to which he often refers: “Who you are and who you’re becoming is more important than what you do.” I believe he’s right. In a world where the ends often justify the means, I wonder how many people would agree with that statement. Perhaps the real question is not how many would agree with it, but how many live it out? It’s easy to say you believe character is important, even most important, but it can be hard to live that when the pressure is on and you need results.
Jesus taught that we become people of deep character through intimacy with him (consider John 15:1-17). As we are transformed more and more into his image, we reflect more and more of his character in our words and actions. As he said in Matthew 7:17-18, good trees bear good fruit and bad trees don’t no matter how it looks.
I have written elsewhere on this blog on the kinds of practices I believe help us create space for the Holy Spirit to transform us into good trees; that allow us to remain deeply connect to Jesus so we are made into his likeness. But how do we know if a person is a “good tree”? How do we know if they are the kind of person who believes character is more important than results?
What are some of the signs that a person is a person of character? I offer just a few and they are influenced by Gary Hunter and Tim Addington…
1. When talking about success he/she recognizes and appreciates the influence and role of others; when talking about failure he/she take responsibility without placing blame.
2 She/he can notice/observe/assess a situation without making judgment, being comfortable with ambiguity and holding things in tension.
3. He/she has appropriate humility – neither thinking too much of self nor being falsely self deprecating.
4. She/he is a person of conviction, willing to listen to others but not quickly bending because of public opinion.
5. He/she has a strong sense of identity in relation to their Heavenly Father; having strong self-awareness of his/her own emotions, wiring, strengths, weaknesses, giftings.
6. She/he forgive and ask forgiveness when called for.
Who are you becoming? Are you the person you want to be? How are you connecting with Jesus so you can become more like him? If someone was to evaluate your life according to these six traits, how would you measure up?