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Other Articles from The Villager

Personality vs. Character

Mon, 17 February 2014 01:42
by Bishop W. Abrahams
Columns

Greetings to you all in Jesus Christ’s wonderful name.
The Bible says in 1 Chronicles 19:13; “Be of good courage and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people and for the cities of our God: and let the Lord do that which is good in His sight.”
The world in which we live has been very questionable lately. This was never the case but the last 15-20 years have seen an enormous growth of people’s wayward behaviour. This is not a general but a selective remark, because we also must give credit to the many graceful individuals who have stood the test of time.
For example, we have seen married couples stay in their marriages for 20-30 years, which is fantastic. We have also seen certain people uphold integrity and accountability. Sadly, the number of the ongoing divorces remain shocking, if not disappointing. Worse, most of these couples, often popular and influential within their communities, might have only stayed in their unions for a few years.
One of the problems we face today is that of couples coming up with excuses every time they fail in their relationships and/or marriages. They say things like: ‘Sorry, but this is who I am’ and ‘That’s how our family operates’... Some will even say, ‘I do not care, if I do not like it, I will not accept it, and nobody can change my mind or my views’. What they fail to understand is, their personalities may have changed and they may just be trying to impress others.
Did you know persons thriving on personalities forget such behaviour are temporary? That is why when television presenters host certain programmes, they use suited personalities. They only host such programmes for certain, particular seasons and are often not the same people away from the cameras.
The English Oxford dictionary’s meaning of ‘personality’ is “the complex of all the attributes - behavioral, temperamental, emotional and mental - that characterise a unique individual.”
People who only focus on their personalities can sometimes be very unsettled, as the Bible points it out in James 1:8: “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
We should focus on building and developing our characters, which are attributes and sound behaviour that show only when exercised. Such behaviour will have an impact on people’s lives for generations to come. The Bible commands us to build our lives on these valuable principles.
Exodus 18:19-22 thus says; “Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you.”
In this excerpt of the chapter, Moses and his father engage in a constructive conversation. For most of Moses’ time, he listened and accommodated those who sought his advice or assistance. When his father, Jethro, saw this, it displeased him. So he asked Moses to select capable men with the following qualities: Must “fear God”, must “be trustworthy” and must “hate dishonesty”. In other words, Jethro asked Moses to get leaders with sound characters. Don’t we need that in our communities?
The main reason why our women get killed and/or molested is the majority of our men do not fear God. They therefore see women as objects, valueless elements, possessions. If any man fears God, he will never harm a woman, a child or anyone else for that matter.
We, the men of this country, have lost respect, honor and dignity for God. Let’s ask ourselves; what would Jesus do?
Finally, Jethro told Moses, if he wanted to see success in his life, nation and among the people, he had to seek men who “hate dishonesty “. We seriously need this attribute as a nation.
The Bible says in Proverbs 22:21; “...be honest and speak the truth, so you can bring back truthful reports to those you serve.”
If we helped our fellow citizens to implement these, we would see a major change in our land as far as upright personalities and characters are concerned.
Until next week, may God bless you.