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Character: The Real Work

Physically, Samson was the strongest man upon earth; but in self-control, integrity, and firmness, he was one of the weakest of men. – Ellen G. White

Inspired by KBT’s trip to Sight and Sound, I decided to reread the Biblical account of Samson. (Judges 13-16) One point stood out to me as I reflected on the passage.  It seemed as if Samson neglected character growth because his gifting was so great.  Many years ago I had the chance to hear Eric Thomas speak, and he said something I will never forget:

Your talent will take you places that your character cannot keep you.

Samson was truly gifted from God, but his character was not developed enough to help him control and maintain his gift.  We must be diligent at developing both our gifts and our character.  God receives the most glory when the quality of our character matches the quality of our gifts.  From Samson’s life we can see clearly that even when our lives and characters do meet God’s expectations, we can still do great things.  However we also see the detriment of not having a strong character.  But we don’t need the bible to see this.  How many extremely gifted musicians, athletes, and actors have we seen ruin their lives with their lack of character?

God wants more from us than the development of our gifts, even when we’re using our gifts for Him.  He wants more than active and excellent service.  He wants our lives, our thoughts, and our characters to reflect His character.  God wants us to develop the self-control and integrity that will guide and protect our gifts.  We always desire more and better; more money, more opportunities, a better job, better relationships, and so on.  But with more and better is the need for more and better character.

Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities! – Luke 12:48MSG

This week as you work to advance your life and sharpen your gifts and talents, evaluate the strength of your character.  Make sure you are developing the maturity that will enable you to sustain your gifts.  When both your character and gifts are strong, you are unstoppable!  You have positioned yourself to receive more from God because He knows He can trust you.  And imagine the great things that will happen in your life when God knows He can trust you!

-Pastor Mandi

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