“The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.”—Proverbs 11:3
The stand you make today will determine what kind of stand you will make tomorrow. Character is not some mystical thing that you have no say in. You decide what principles you will live by, what road you will take.
The Bible is filled with examples of those who had character. But it is also filled with examples of those who did not. This is one of the reasons we can believe the Bible: it tells the truth without “airbrushing” the flaws and inconsistencies of the people found in its pages.
When Oliver Cromwell had his portrait painted, he said to the artist, “Paint me, warts and all!” The Bible gives us our heroes, “warts and all.”
Character isn’t just about starting the race well, but finishing it well. But sadly, many run strong at first but then slow down, quit, or are disqualified. King Saul comes to mind as an example.
Tall, handsome, brave, anointed by God to be the king, prophesying with the prophets—Saul had incredible potential. He was just a young boy when the Lord called him. Scripture tells us that God’s Spirit had come upon him in a special way to be the king he could have been.
But he disobeyed God repeatedly and allowed pride to creep in, giving way to paranoia and jealousy. In his own words, King Saul “played the fool and erred exceedingly” (1 Samuel 26:21 NKJV). In the end, Saul had no one to blame but himself.
It takes more than good looks or charisma to succeed spiritually; it takes character and integrity.