Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lessons in Leadership part 2 " Character"

From the dictionary we find the definition of what Character actually is. I have added comments to some of the definitions. My comments are in yellow.

character

[kar-ik-ter] Origin Like this word?

char·ac·ter

[kar-ik-ter] Show IPA
noun
1.
the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing. Character is the nature of God being formed within us and demonstrated to others outside of us. 
2.
one such feature or trait; characteristic.
3.
moral or ethical quality: a man of fine, honorable character. We have lost the value of honor now days. Ethics has escapd us but many "leaders" still don't get it. 
4.
qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity: It takes character to face up to a bully.  Part of character is having the courage to stand up for what is right even when no one is looking. We are paintings that others look at. They can either see a masterpiece stroked by the hand of God or a cartoon drawing by a three year old. How we develop our character determines the results. 
5.
reputation: a stain on one's character. What are people truly saying about us?
 
 
One thing that I value greatly is the character of myself and the character of others. As leaders our character must be impeccable. If people are going to talk against you they are going to either have to make something up or fine some petty thing about you. Apostle Peter gives us the break down of how our Character should develop in our lives.
2 Peter 1:3-10  God's divine power has given us everything we need for life and for godliness. This power was given to us through knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and integrity.  (4)  Through his glory and integrity he has given us his promises that are of the highest value. Through these promises you will share in the divine nature because you have escaped the corruption that sinful desires cause in the world.  (5)  Because of this, make every effort to add integrity to your faith; and to integrity add knowledge;  (6)  to knowledge add self-control; to self-control add endurance; to endurance add godliness;  (7)  to godliness add Christian affection; and to Christian affection add love.  (8)  If you have these qualities and they are increasing, it demonstrates that your knowledge about our Lord Jesus Christ is living and productive.  (9)  If these qualities aren't present in your life, you're shortsighted and have forgotten that you were cleansed from your past sins.  (10)  Therefore, brothers and sisters, use more effort to make God's calling and choosing of you secure. If you keep doing this, you will never fall away.
 
We have the power of the living God flowing in our lives. There should not be any reason why HIS CHARACTER is not revealed to those we serve.  Apostle Peter gives us the spiritual equation for the building of our character.

Faith + Integrity + knowledge + self- control + endurance + godliness + Christian Affection + Love = The example of Christ to the world and to the church.

We can reverse this spiritual equation and show what it is like without these attributes being grafted into our character.

NO Faith - Integrity - knowledge - self-control - endurance - godliness - Christian affection - love =  The bad example of Christ to the world and to the church and the bible says you are short-sighted taking advantage of the mercies of God. 

Many people want the position of  leadership without the sacrifice. I have failed on many occasions to get some I have mentored to not look at the position but to focus on their character. He or she could not grasp what was being told to them because of their lust for power and position.  Leadership is not about position. It is about influence. It is about directing others into the right direct and it is about laying down your lives for others. This takes character and character does not happen over night. You do not go to bed one night without character and wake up the next day with a magical appearance of it. It takes time to build and it takes sacrifice to develop. What do others say about Character?

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
Abraham Lincoln  
 
Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion.
Aristotle

It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.
Zig Ziglar
 
You are not a great leader because your position demands the allegiance from those that follow you. Your ability to lead must first be developed through your character. I have had the privilege of mentoring and ministering to many different people. Some are awesome examples of Christ for today. Some are awesome examples of selfishness and lack of character of Christ.  I  have minister to a few who always sought after the position, but their character never changed. Their character was a horrible train wreck. They would be overbearing to people around them. Their conversations were mostly about themselves and many people were turn away from their childish actions. The Lord would lead me to help those individuals get past the thought of having a position but focus on being the best Christian he or she could be. God wanted to use them but not in the present state he or she were in. Unfortunately, these individuals just don't get. They run to other ministries or ministers seeking out power and position. They find someone to tell them what they want to hear. This is a scary place to be in. It is easier to just let the Lord build your character!!!
 
As leaders, what should our character look like to others. Below is list but not a final one. Please pray about your life today and make sure Character is an important part of your leadership. 
 
What Character should look like to others:
 
1.  Dependable:  The Body of Christ should know without a doubt our dependability. We are faithful to be at the functions of life.
2.  Spiritual:  People should see Christ in you. If  you have a relationship with Christ , his character will be demonstrated throughout your life. People will know there is something different about you. 
3. Honorable:  Where is the honor among leaders? As a leader you don't want to do wrong because you know it will hurt others. The needs of the ones must be put aside for the needs of the many.
4. Morally Centered: People should see a leader with a pure heart. One who strives to be released from the bondage of sin. One who seeks out accountability and follows through with it.  
5. Ethical:  Many leaders lack the ethics to carry out true leadership tasks. God's word is our standard to live by but many twist it for their benefit. We must follow the moral code which has been presented before us. 
6. Reputation:  How do you define your reputation? If you are fortunate like I have been you can take a test. A few weeks ago, I had 10 of my peers, 10 of my subordinates, and 10 of my upper management take a test on me. They rated my character and my ability as a leader. I was humbled to find that across the board everyone saw me as the same. This was a wide range of different people with different views.  Maybe a few say you are great but what do the majority of people you come in contact with say about you?
 
As a leader focus on your character development and see what God does in your life. You will become a great leader and a great follower of the Lord. 
 
blessings,
 
Johnny 
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