Are you honest with yourself about your character?
One definition of character is, “What one does, when no one else is around.”
An example, or test of your character, that has been put forth recently, is how you behave in a retail parking lot… Do you place your shopping cart into one of the remote shopping cart corrals, or just leave it, out in the open lot?
When do we determine our character?
How do we determine our character?
Where does it come from?
How does a young man, moving out into the world, come to grips with his own… as of yet… immature character?
Remember: the veneer he puts forth to the world is edited, to allow him to fit in, to conform, so that he can pursue a successful life.
And for a young man, of say eighteen to twenty, he can’t even articulate what his immature character is… much less what he wants his mature character to be when he’s older.
I’m using the book of Romans Ch. 5 v.3-4 to research my character and where it comes from.
It states… perseverance produces character. I touched on perseverance in another article.
“I was given the word – Perseverance. Defined as “a patient enduring.” Especially as God enables the believer to “remain under” the challenges He allots in life.”
Being able to patiently endure a suffering; a test; or affliction, “produces” character.
Most of the “males” that I work with are younger than me. Lots younger. And I see, on a daily basis, that young men DO NOT “endure patiently.”
They get mad. Easily.
At things, that to me, are insignificant.
Now… I’ve been a young man, I’ve been frustrated, I’ve worked in garages, I’ve had to demolish a workbench or two, with a hammer, when a vehicle repair was getting the better of me.
But I always tried to do that in private. Not just explode in front of everybody.
I think that makes a man look weak, if he just loses it in front of everybody.
How do we get to the point where we have a strong enough character where all the workbenches are safe?
Or our wife? Or our kids?
Two things I learned, and studied, along my journey that trained me, and still train me, are…
- Studying the book “Meditations of Marcus Aurelius” and other Stoic Philosophies.
- And then being shown a picture of the utmost example of Stoicism, the example… Jesus Christ… standing in front of Pontius Pilate, unmoved, unphased, unflinching, while Pilate scurried back and forth, worried and nervous.
After having studied, and believing, that “external” occurrences are just that… external of me.
And that… it is up to me to allow those things to affect me. Or not.
The only thing that can upset me is… me!
It has been one of the most profound revelations thus far on my journey.
And has given me an example that I use, daily, as I move through the world.
When confronted by an external upheaval, I picture Christ… standing quietly, facing Pilate… facing the music that He knows must be played. Being in complete control of himself.
It’s been working.
It allows me to “patiently endure” life… and it’s many trials and tribulations.
Thereby producing, like a nice crisp apple, a bit of character called “empathy for others.”
As I stand calmly, like Jesus did, I can see when people are not in control of themselves, out of sorts, and emotionally hurting.
Allowing me, to allow the storm to pass… whatever that storm may be.
And… and this I think is critical, not harboring any ill feelings towards those who were nervously scurrying about, maybe losing it in front of me and others, maybe just losing it on me, or just losing it in general.
There is no harm, no foul, unless I determine there was.
And the more I employ this “perseverance” to endure patiently, and have it infusing my character, I see more and more, that it’s better to wait it… and them… out.
I’ve found it is a mature character that can do that.
Or you can use a tried and true verbal technique, repeating…
“I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say bounces of me and sticks to you.”