Weekly Thought – June 30, 2015
Fred was allergic to phonies. He admired talent, vision, and character. Much of his thinking was done in a business context – for clients and other associates. He understood how to assess it and communicate the analysis.
The Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute is privileged to announce our 2016 campuses: Lindsey Wilson College (Columbia, KY), Alice Lloyd College (Pippa Passes, KY), Asbury University (Wilmore, KY), and Palm Beach Atlanta University (West Palm Beach, FL). We have confirmed Union University (Jackson, TN) for 2017 and are in talks with several other schools.
In trying to evaluate character, I always deal from a hypothesis. I suspect certain things, and I see evidences of others. Certain flags will go up in my mind as patterns form, but they are still part of the hypothesis until I have evidence. To jump to conclusions simply would show an emotional bias toward judging rather than evaluation.
I never really know someone until I have counted money with them. I have found this to be true in business, as well as ministry. When I get to heaven I want to ask why the Lord connected money and ministry. The weakness for taking more for oneself doesn’t just mean money. For example, I have seen executives who seem totally above board steal credit to promote themselves.
Character evaluation involves understanding weight limits. Bridges carry signs which notify drivers so collapses don’t occur. People have load limits, too. I knew a man who was very outwardly devout I am convinced his faith was real, but there were soft spots. The number one priority in his life was money, but he disciplined himself within reasonable ranges.
However, as soon as the deal passed six figures, he crumbled. The bridge cracked. He was not a crook; he was just not load tested successfully.
Many people’s character simply cannot stand temptations beyond a specific limit. When they try to hold against more than they “are rated for,” they fall into poor judgment and character default. A sign of faulty character is ignorance of temptation lines.
We often credit others with strong character when actually this reputation is earned because they know their limits and understand their weaknesses. They don’t drive their personal and professional vehicles across bridges which they know cannot carry that weight without crashing into the water.
Scripture tells us God gives exit ramps so temptation doesn’t overwhelm us. He completely understands our natures and gives us opportunities to grow in grace. He wants us to know ourselves and to adopt wisdom. Good character reflects maturity.
This week think about: 1) What do I use as a measure of character? 2) Where are my character soft spots? 3) How do I protect myself from character failures?
Words of Wisdom: “I never really know someone until I have counted money with them.”
Wisdom from the Word: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24 NET Bible)