By Theophilus Izobofolo
The Importance of Good Character
The desire for success I believe is one of the greatest motivators for action in the lives of people. Everyone has a desire to be recognized for something they are good at. If you have ever sought out to accomplish a task, or if you have ever felt angry because of an obstruction towards a goal, then you have implicit attested to this statement. No matter what you desire to attain to as your definition of success, you must recognize that there is no true success without a good character to back it up.
Character guides our responses to issues we face in life as we work toward success. Our character is who we are and what we do. It is important that we have a foundation of strong character because our responses to life’s issues determine the quality of our results. Character is a summation of our thoughts, values, words, and actions, which in turn become the habits that determine how successful we are in life. Integrity is the foundation of any lasting success, and at the heart of integrity is good character.
Human character is formed at the core of the human being. It is who we are when “nobody” is looking. A person can create a facade of how they intend for people to perceive their personality and their actions, this facade is what we know as reputation. Our reputation is the summation of who/what everyone thinks about us. Too often we hear of good people, reputed for being successful in their field, who have fallen from great heights because of a weakness in their character. What many fail to understand is that the character weakness is nothing new; the effects of a character flaw are amplified as we rise up the ladder of success.
When we see a tree, we see its fruits, leaves and branches. The fruit that grows on the tree represents what kind of tree it is. I’m pretty sure, to a 100% level of certainty, that if I see oranges growing on a tree, it is an orange tree. However, though I see the tree, its trunk, branches and leaves, there still exists a root system below the ground that is hidden. On average, tree roots spread close to 3 times the spread of the branches, so that a tree with an 8-foot branch crown spread would have a 24-foot root spread diameter. The root is what keeps the tree grounded. This is why Jesus in teaching said, “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” (Matt.7:17-20). The principle here is that a person’s character is an overflow of the state of their heart.
This is why it is important that we examine ourselves from time to time. For you to succeed in life, you must learn to listen to the voice of your conscience. Rather than silence the inner voice at the core of your humanity, you need to objectively check yourself to see if your words, thoughts, actions and attitudes line up with what’s fundamentally true and noble. In addition you must ask yourself if there are aspects about your personality that others complain about? Successful people have learned to be sincere and consistent on the basis of truth. Your self assessment is not to impress anybody, rather it is to ensure you are taking the right steps in line with what you hold to be true.
I believe that God has inscribed a sense of morality on human hearts through the natural law. However, through Scripture (absolute truth) we are able to form a Christ centered conscience and a moral guide to strengthen our character. The good news is that by your decision you can make a change to areas in which you fall short in character. With every pressure that comes against your character development, you can use it as an opportunity for growth and development. It is important to know that the quality of your character will not just get better with time; it must be intentional.
Reference: Maro Mamora