The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.

— Proverbs 10:9 —

I wrote this post nine and a half years ago and thought I would reshare it as our character is being pressed like never before due to the current demands of reality.

Character and/or integrity is something we all have and is molded and shaped throughout life.  The stronger our character, the better we are able to handle life and the realities that come with life.  Simply stated, character is the ability to handle the demands of reality without compromising our core values/principles.

I don’t know about you, but it seems as though the world is lacking in character these days.  I chuckle at the number of “reality” T.V. shows there are because they are so unlike reality.  Life is what you choose to do with reality and the more effectively (do the right thing) you handle reality, the stronger your character will become, and the more peace you will have while living life on life’s terms.

For years my character was quite weak and it was illustrated through my fruitless attempts to create my own reality so I could run away from what was really happening.  I spent years battling the “pity pot” (i.e. depression) because life “wasn’t fair” and people didn’t act the way I wanted them to act.  Whether I was drugging, drinking, gossiping, criticizing, blaming, being irresponsible, etc… I was deflecting reality and creating my own little sick “reality” T.V. show that just missed having a tragic ending.

Since then, one day at a time, I’ve worked on various character traits in order to be the best I can be for my Creator.  I have found the more I stay in reality and do the right things, instead of fighting it, the better able I am to avoid the “crooked paths” of the world, and in turn, I have peace no matter how crazy life is.   This is a daily process as I know my character is dependent upon my walk with God and it takes me less than 24 hours to weaken.

Take some time to reflect and make a list of the things you do in order to avoid reality and in turn take the “crooked” path.

Below is a list of the many things I have adjusted/worked on over the years.

Character Builders:

-I will place God at the top of my priority list and ask him to guide me in all I do and give me the desire to lead my life as His Sons did.

-I will place my spouse directly under God on my priority list and live my life representative of that fact.

-I will place my children directly under my spouse on my priority list and live my life representative of that fact.

-I will prioritize my life and have a daily plan focused on the achievement of my dreams and goals.

-I will always give my first fruits to God.

-I will do my best with what I have and quit worrying about what I don’t have.

-I will keep the promises I make to myself and others.

-I will accept the fact life is not always fair.

-I will quit comparing myself to others.

-I will quit using curse words.

-I will quit blaming other people, places, and things for my circumstances.

-I will quit needing other people, places, and things to make me happy.

-I will face my problems head-on and deal with them in a responsible way.

-I will be just as excited about the success of others as I am for myself.

-I will seek first to understand others, then to be understood.

-I will not gossip or criticize others.

-I will forgive those I once thought were unforgivable.

-I will own up to situations where I have been wrong in my behavior.

-I will try to find good in all situations.

-I will quit looking for the “speck” in my brother’s or sister’s eye.

-I will quit “assuming.”

-I will quit taking things personally.

-I will be impeccably honest with my word.

-I will always give my best in all I do.

-I will not buy anything unless I have the money to buy it.

-I will give without anyone knowing.

-I will treat my body like a temple by eating, sleeping, and exercising right.

-I will expand my wisdom and knowledge by learning about new things.

-I will love my neighbor as myself.

-I will be the change that I want to see in the world.

-I will make the most of my life just as it is; living one day at a time and accepting life on life’s terms.

This is a process, it is not an event.

I haven’t arrived yet but I’m farther along in my character walk than I was nine and a half years ago.

How about you?

1 Samuel 16:7, “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” 


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