Character matters in all aspects of life. It is especially true when it comes to a job. As a senior pastor, character is one of the first things I assess when it comes to hiring a person or filling a ministry position in the church. It is above and beyond the best indicator of success, more than experience and viewpoints. Good character ensues to me a person has a solid foundation by which to navigate life. As a believer, biblical character is essential in navigating the difficult decisions of life whether at home or work. Character serves as a compass for making choices.
- Without character, my marital relationship would be insecure. My wife would not have confidence in my decision-making or actions leading to tension and uncertainty.
- Without character, it would be impossible to make good parenting decisions. Other parents, school expectations, and/or society would influence my choices resulting in a shifting foundation and inconsistent results.
- Without character, it would be easy to compromise integrity at work. Expediency, ambition, and people-pleasing would motivate me rather than doing the right thing.
- Without character, my relationship with God simply becomes a shallow exercise in appearance (how do I look to others) rather than transformational.
Character is king for me.
Based on these convictions, I am pleased that character is finally becoming a consideration in the election. Note: this is not a veiled blog against a particular candidate as both candidates clearly have character flaws. What I am saying is that this issue needs to be a major factor in our decision-making in life and specifically our voting decisions.
Thus far, the debates have focused on policy initiatives and vision for the country. The subject of temperament has frequently surfaced. Temperament by definition is “a person’s nature, especially as it permanently affects their behavior.” I don’t think I am going out on a limb when I say that it is being used not in reference to character but one’s ability to handle stress, high-paced environments, and steady decision-making. This understanding is different from character. A person without character can certainly handle stress well. Yet, it is a person with character that can handle stress rightly. Granted, a person running for elected office needs to have experience, vision, and skills. But, this person also needs to have character. It is the foundation by which these others issues are framed. It is the foundation by which a person is able to represent us rightly.
Luke 2:52 states, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
This verse describes character. Wisdom and stature are qualities we should each strive for in life. And they are qualities we should also expect in our political leaders.