People With Character!

People With Character!

Then Solomon said, “If he is a man of character, not a single hair of his will fall to the ground, but if evil is found in him, he dies.” I King 1:52 HCSB

Dr. Martin Luther King is known for saying, he would rather people be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. Why? People with character–know how to conduct themselves at all times.

Of course, many people would take the referenced scripture of out of context and attempt to say that I’m implying people with no character should die. That’s not why I used this particular verse of scripture.

In this passage we find Adonijah–the self-proclaimed king–trying to take the place of Solomon when he knew that David had promised Solomon the throne. Adonijah was not concerned about doing what was right, only doing what he wanted to do and for that reason, when it was reported to David–the dying king–what Adonijah was doing, David arranged for Solomon to be anointed the next king [with the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan present to confirm]–even as Adonijah and his crew were celebrating what they thought was a coup.

In those days, rebellion against a king meant death. And when it was reported to Solomon that Adonijah was afraid of what he had done–trying to steal the authority of kingship from its rightful owner–Solomon commanded Adonijah be brought to him and declared that if it was determined that he was a man of character (integrity), nothing would happen to him, but if not–he would die.

I’m not advocating that anyone without character should die, but I am advocating that anyone without moral substance, integrity and honesty and incorruptible values–should never be allowed in a position of authority since we know–corruption breeds corruption and immorality breeds immorality, and dishonesty breeds more dishonesty.

Fear-mongering and hatred are character traits of evil and wickedness. We know this because The Word says, that “perfect love casts out fear.” So if love will cast fear aside–we know no love abides in anyone who instills fear in others. And those who have received God’s love, know how to love–unconditionally–and will not promote hatred of people–rather they promote hatred of sin–not the sinner.

Before anyone tries to refute that we are to hate, let’s look at what The Word says:

Hate evil and love good; establish justice in the gate. Amos 5:15 HCSB

The righteous hate lying, but the wicked act disgustingly and disgracefully. Proverbs 13:5 HCSB Those who know The Lord and try to live according to His Word, hate the thought of lying, but the wicked won’t hesitate to lie. And we know–Satan is the father of liars.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:9 NIV It is not good to think that killing a person is “a beautiful thing.”

At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Matthew 24:10,11 NIV

The time that Jesus references through Matthew is the last days and here we are.

So, are we people with character and is there evidence for all to see by how we live? If we lie to ourselves, we fool only ourselves for God knows the inward person and He is never fooled by the externals.

 

Misplaced Confidence Causes Chaos!

I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes. Psalm 118:5-9 KJV

Confidence–the belief in a person’s trustworthiness and reliability or in oneself. Integrity and honor displayed in people will usually garner confidence in them by others. But the real problem with having confidence in people is–people change–from one moment to the other and when they change–any confidence or trust we have placed in them, crumbles.

In this psalm, we see the writer asserting that they called upon the Lord when they were distressed and the Lord responded to them. We are at a time and season when we see just how fallible man is and why we cannot place our confidence in them.

In the political arena–we see candidates rise and fall at the whim of the feelings of the people who have bamboozled by all the glitz and media attention garnered by those who have demonstrated a lack of self-discipline–with all the trading insults, openly expressed bigotry, and blatant ignorance of their understanding of how government works.

In the legislative arena–in Michigan and probably elsewhere–politicians who have been elected to safeguard the people and protect the interests of all have ignored the needs of students in the Detroit School District and have blamed the teachers–who care more about the students than some of their parents–for all of the financial woes and dysfunctional administrative decisions made for them, not by them. 

In the schools–where those in authority are expected to act with professionalism and encourage confidence in their ability to lead–we have dysfunctional agents of chaos and greed. When people in authority show their true selves in how they handle conflict, how can we expect students to respect them, when they lie and steal from students?

When we see that we cannot trust those in positions of authority and watch the chaos that results from our misplaced confidence, the only person we can call upon to straighten out the mess is The Lord! We can count on Him to resolve issues without bias and to minister just judgment. This is not true of people who think they are worthy of respect but have not shown themselves to be respectful of others.

In our society today, it is difficult and almost impossible to teach kids to respect adults  when the adults become the problem. We see the results of our misplaced confidence in the media–teachers, coaches molesting children, principals absconding with funding intended for students, other adults abusing their positions of authority to manipulate kids into doing wrong things–who is it that we can trust with our kids?

I have concluded that we cannot place our confidence in the adults who are in our kids lives, so we must earnestly and vigorously train our children to act with integrity and to be mindful of those adults who will either steer them in the wrong direction or who will intentionally target them for various reasons. We cannot trust adults to always tell the truth when we catch them in a lie–for any reason! Our trust and confidence can only be placed in The Lord, who will never lead any astray.

We need to trust our kids to tell us the truth and they will when they know we are listening. We need to trust our relationship with God to lead us in all decisions, especially when it comes to electing political candidates. We need to stop thinking we know everything we need to know and trust in The Lord, only and hear Holy Spirit when He speaks!