Our Conduct Reveals our Character
The first quarter of 2018 is in our rearview mirror. For some it was an incredible way to start the year while for others it was less than they had hoped for. Regardless, it is in the past. There is absolutely nothing you can do to change it. It is my prayer that your mind stays in the right place in this regard. Remember these words of the Apostle Paul:
“I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”
— Philippians 3:13b-14 NLT
As we look to the future I hope you will remember that our minds are a battlefield because it is a strange and incredible thing. My devotionals this week have been reminding me of the direct connection between my heart and my head. Whatever is in my heart comes out of my mouth and whatever comes out of my mouth works its way back into my heart.
Both my conduct and my character are important to God. In all of life we are developing our character — sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad. Remember our character is comprised of those things that come into us while our conduct is the thing coming out of us.
Remember … Whatever is in the well, comes up in the bucket! Our heart is a sponge that nearly immediately soaks up whatever is poured in to it. Our life will constantly produce conduct that is consistent with the things that we put in to our heart. When we soak up the things of the world and the flesh into our head and heart we will spew forth those same things. We must be careful to pour into my heart the truth of God’s word and His character. David wrote
“I have hidden [treasured or buried] Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you [God].”
–Psalm 119:11 NLT
Nearly everyone can agree that Jesus is the best role model to have. His qualities of faith, perseverance, and generosity are seen as some of the most important qualities that we can possess. We must never forget that character is not built in a classroom it is build through the circumstances of life. It is through these circumstances that our character and thus our conduct is formed. What are some of the character qualities we see Jesus pouring into the hearts and lives of his disciples. Remember, Jesus was always
- Compassionate — he never looked away from people (Mt. 9:36 “he saw the crowds and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.”
- Jesus was the ultimate servant, Mk 10:45 says “The son of Man came not to be served but to serve” he lowered himself and served others.
- Even when Jesus was on the cross he asked, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” Jesus perfectly displaced the character of forgiveness. A genuine leader always seeks to display forgiveness.
- Jesus always showed self-control. Whether it was when he was being tempted by the Devil in the wilderness or asked to defend himself against the religious leaders of His day, Jesus always yielded his own needs to the will of His Father.
- Jesus was humble. With all the power of heaven at earth at his disposal and control he chose to seek and save those who were lost. Jesus was never self-promoting. There is no greater mark of genuine power than that of humility. Just be right without demanding others to acknowledge it.
- Most of all, Jesus was obedient. He sought only to honor his Father. Jesus said, “Whoever does the will of [the Father] lives forever.” (1 John 2:17)
The great secret to genuine success is in allowing our character to be molded so that our conduct will be shown in a productive and positive way. In business, as in ministry, as in life our desire should be for positive and pure things to flow from us in a way that honors the Lord and encourages those around us. We are all the products of our environments so we must be careful to surround ourselves with people and things that promote truth. Remember, Jesus said,
“I am the way and the truth and the life.”
–John 14:6 NLT
We all know what is expected and demanded of us in our service to others. Once we have the character traits of Jesus within us we are far more apt to conducting our lives in a manner that pleases Him.
Here is the summary statement about what our lives ought to display:
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.”
Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
Our conduct always reveals our character. What is the character you are revealing today?