One of the things that God wants you to know is… your character. God already knows your character, but often, we don’t. Ask yourself a simple question: would you ever steal? Now if you’re a good Christian, you should immediately be saying something like, “Of course not!” Isn’t that easy to say when you’re sitting with a full belly watching sitcom reruns with your children playing at your feet?
Now ask yourself this: would you steal if the lights had been cut off, there was no power, you hadn’t eaten in two days, and your kids haven’t eaten since you gave them each a cup of cold oatmeal this morning? It puts a different spin on things, doesn’t it? It’s easy to do what’s right in the good times. Doing what’s right when it hurts is another matter. Then you know what your character is.
Take a different question: should you work every day to earn your keep? The answer, again, is “Of course! I don’t want anyone else to pay my way!” What about when you’re sick. What about when you’re really sick, and you don’t know what’s wrong, and you might not be able to work. Do you give up, or do you fight to find a way?
You see, God knows something about us: we like to kid ourselves. We like to tell ourselves how great we are. When the rubber meets the road, however, we don’t always live up to our own hype. God doesn’t want us to forget who we really are. God doesn’t want us to be unrealistic about our own nature. So sometimes, he lets us experience a little discomfort. Sometimes it’s a small paycheck. Sometimes it’s a sick kid. Sometimes it’s a sick you. Then you get to find out what your character is really like. Character isn’t being good when it’s easy, character is doing the right thing no matter how much it hurts. Character is dying on the cross because you didn’t do anything wrong, but billions of souls are on the line.
What’s your character?