Your character is what God knows you to be. Your reputation is how others regard you, based on appearances. See my article on reputation for more on this subject.
Our nation has lost its way. Television fare has become unspeakably vile, including TV sex ads.
Foreclosures on homes and bankruptcies, though sometimes brought on by circumstances beyond the control of those involved, are probably more often caused by people attempting to live beyond their means, These symptoms of lack of character; are ruining lives and depressing the stock market.
Financial corporations are crashing as leaders who thought they were above the law, embezzle funds. My mother and step-father, who retired from a lifetime as missionaries, lost their invested savings in one of those funds.
Pride of workmanship and quality are being replaced by shoddy workmanship as employees without character focus on wages and benefits rather than the quality of their workmanship..
Communities and homes are declining in value as they are being overrun by people lacking character and moral values. Neighborhoods are blighted and homes are losing value because of irresponsible owners and tenants lacking character who let the weeds grow in their yards and over the sidewalks, making it almost impossible to walk down the street and who allow beer cans and junk to clutter their yards and their garbage cans and dumpsters to overflow on to the streets.
America was founded by men and women of character. They may not all have been Christians, but they held to moral values. They held the Bible in high esteem.
The Mayflower Compact, the Constitution of the United States, our Declaration of Independence and other founding documents all contain references to our dependence on Almighty God. God’s name and Biblical references are carved into the stones of our national monuments. The first colleges and universities, including Harvard, were founded to train young men for the ministry. America was to be a land where people could be free to worship God without any coercion. Though a militant minority are trying to drive a wedge between church and state, safeguards were written into our Bill of Rights to protect us from being controlled by a State Church and to protect the State from prohibiting our free exercise of religion.
Bob Jones University has had a profound influence on my life teaching me character.
Over fifty years ago Dr. Bob Jones Sr., founder of the school, often spoke to us in our daily chapel service. His messages were usually Biblically-based conversations with us concerning character issues. He is noted for some of his sayings.
“You are free to swing your arms wherever you please, but your freedom ends where my nose begins”.
“Do right ’til the stars fall.”
“It’s never right to do wrong in order to get a chance to do right.”
“Good men are always reasonable.”
“You have to live somewhere forever, so you had better learn how to live.”
“If you learn how to live, you can learn how to make a living.”
“Back of every tragedy in human character there is a process of wicked thinking.”
“You can borrow brains, but you can’t borrow character.”
“The door to the room of success swings on the hinges of opposition.”
“When gratitude dies on the altar of a man’s heart, he is well-nigh hopeless.”
” It’s a sin to do less than your best.”
“Simplicity is truth’s most becoming garb.”
“Beware of unreasonable people. Good men are always reasonable.”
“Don’t sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.”
The importance of Christian character is one of the most important things I learned at B.J.U. Later, our three children and some grandchildren had the privilege of being students there. Each of our children found their spouse there. I thank God for Bob Jones University and its impact on my life and on the lives of our family. Though there have been changes that come with progress, they still stand for Biblical truth and for Christian character just as they have through eighty years of existence.
I’m not asserting that every BJU grad is the perfect example of Christian character. Many factors enter into our spiritual development; but what I am saying is that a Christian student who receives his education at BJU is going to be surrounded with Godly influence and have every opportunity to become a success in life and in the eyes of God.
We need Christian character.
The struggle between good and evil is ongoing just as it was back in the time of the Judges when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes”. Judges 21:25 There were a few good leaders back then, but not many.
Lack of character produces mere politicians who look to the next election.
Character produces statesmen who look to the next generation.
Thank God for some Godly national, state and local leaders today who have character in their backbones to do right. God gives a nation the political leadership it deserves. When God’s people get right with Him, He promises to heal our land. II Chronicles 7:14 With that healing will come a restoration of character and prosperity. May God continue to bless our families, our institutions, our nation and our world with charactered leadership.
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