Through character building we ought to share God’s transforming love with others. In providing these blessings to the unloved, let them see that our hearts are filled with goodness. When doing so, we are declaring to the world our love of lives. This is one of the faces of love which is glorious to live by.
Dennis Prager (b. 1948), political conservative, nationally syndicated radio talk show host and author explains, “That goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.” As the old saying goes, “actions speak louder than words.” We have to love people to treat them right. This must be one of our foremost goals in loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968), Baptist minister and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement was certain when he declared, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.” To our nation, King’s challenge to us is to form benevolent characteristics concerning race relations. People matter regardless of their race, religion, or national origin.
True love inevitably faces challenges – some good and bad. Walter Anderson (1903 – 1965), painter, writer, and naturalist, foresaw, “Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.” As our characters continue to take shape as we journey through life, consideration has to be given to the ways we respond to adversities. Some have experienced these difficulties and concluded, it was truly those difficult times which motivated them to higher levels of understanding in their lives. These were defining moments which helped shape their attitudes towards others.
These realizations were supported by Helen Keller (1880 – 1968), author, political activist, and lecturer, who observed, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” Keller was realistic about challenges in our lives. We are essentially pots in our Maker’s hands to be shaped in the ways he wishes.
To love deeply is to be faithful in love. That’s why love and friendship go together. Signs of God’s love are often expressed in our families. Billy Graham (b. 1918), evangelical Christian evangelist and Southern Baptist minister was of the opinion, “The greatest legacy one person can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.” In truth, character is treating others the way you want to be treated. When children and grandchildren see these in our actions, their visions about life become clearer in their relationships with family members, friends, and strangers.
In addition to living and doing for others, try to be loved for your good works. Let people see love in your lives when you reach out in our broken world. Let us celebrate love in action and rejoice in the Lord. John Wooden (1910 – 2010), basketball player and coach reminded us, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” Your major goal in life is to build a fine character, of service to others. We are here on earth to help each other build up the body of Christ. These are some of the amazing gifts which come with living in obedience to Christ’s teachings. We must be open to giving and receiving love. These my friends are our abundant blessings.