May 14,2007 School's In for the Summer

I've been asked to add my 2 cents (maybe more than it's worth) to a PhD elective course this summer on Curriculum Design. Sounds exciting, eh? Maybe not,but rather important to the process. We'll see how it goes.

Why is Character important?

D. L. Moody is often attributed with saying "Character is what you are in the dark," meaning, what you are when no one is looking. Character is forged on the anvil of experience and suffering (Ro 5:3-5), shaped and modelled after Christ as the imago Dei we bear is transformed into His likeness. For us to have integrity of character we must first be undone (disintegrated, Isaiah 6) and become naked before the face of God. By the power of the Spirit, we reckon reality, then we take off the old man (Eph 4, Col 3) and put on the order of new creation (2 Cor 5:17). Character is important because it is the way by which we mirror the image of God to the world.

Strong character requires a meekness and humility of heart that submits to learning and wisdom. Character building demands that one accurately examine oneself without becoming self-consumed. The discipline of pursuing sound character frees one from fear of failure and to be able to look toward the future optimistically and with vision. This discipline can be freely and sacrificially appropriated or Spirit-imposed. This results in the encouragement and edification of and service to others. Character is important because we are identified with the suffering servant in the building process.

If character is what you are in the dark, it is also what you are in the searing radiance of God’s Glory. Character is essential to our being and becoming. In a spiritual sense, we are what we eat. If we partake of the fountain and source of godliness, we will be conformed to that likeness over time. Our inward parts- our motivations, biases, values and heartsongs dance to the tune we listen to. God is pleased if our adornment is the hidden person of the heart (1 Peter 3:4). Character is important because it is developed to God’s Glory and our good (2 Thess 1:11-12). It is the ornament and armament of Grace.

We are becoming the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21) for all the world to see. In this economy, character becomes a sacred test and a sacred trust. The refiner’s fire that forges strength of character fits us to become instruments of righteousness on this earth (Romans 6) and for eternal service in the world to come. Character is important because it is the very stuff we take with us into heaven and that which we cast before the throne of Grace.

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