The Culture of the Cross… Your Character

Have you ever been ready to cook a meal, only to notice that you are missing some key ingredients? Suddenly,you find yourself scrounging around looking for substitutes!  Or your mind starts wondering what the dish would taste like if you just altogether skipped putting those ingredients in. Maybe it will turn out and maybe it won’t, but it’s just a dinner dish, right? The truth of the matter is that we either didn’t put the effort in when it came to planning this meal, or we just didn’t take the time to go to the store and pick up the necessary ingredientsto make the dish! 

Let me ask you this. 

Do we make those same judgment calls when trying to become the individual God wants us to become? 

If I just leave this out, maybe don’t tell the whole truth. If I just substituted this for that, then maybe I can just make it all work out. Far too many Christians and Christian leaders have been substituting and leaving things out,and then when we are put to the test, we don’t pass the taste test. We look, taste and sound nothing like the recipe book (The Bible) says we should. 

Look at the litmus test placed before the disciples in choosing people to serve tables. Serving tables seems like such a mundane task. Can’t we just get people that don’t fit anywhere else and make them the servers?That’s not the way it went at all. You will find this in Acts 6:3 (Feel free to read the whole chapter in your study time). 

And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility.

Seven men who are well respected. This to me speaks that these men had to have good character. These men would be serving widows, so if they didn’t have good character they could possibly take advantage of these widows in their time of grief. 

Regardless of the simplicity of the task in which you find yourself serving in, we as Christians are to serve with integrity! It’s a marker of your character. The small thing that doesn’t deserve your integrity or your best effort, will become the ceiling of your life. If you cannot be trusted in small things, you’ll never get the privilege to serve in larger ones. 

Furthermore, as leaders we must ensure that we don’t lack character in choosing people to serve. I know the pressure of our day is to create a place for everyone to serve, and that is our duty as leaders. However, there is also a biblical mandate to ensure that we choose people to serve that are well-respected, full of the Spirit and of wisdom!

These seven men were going to serve in a hot mess!People were already grumbling and complaining! There was frustration that was being exhibited to the point that it reached the Apostles. Because of the emotions that were prevalent, these seven men were going to have to present a unified front. They needed to get along! Other people’s complaints and frustrations can be a wedge of division to those who are serving. When frustration from others begins to creep in, it will magnify the character flaws of the team. Strong character helps build team chemistry. Character is vitally important when serving a frustrated and devastated people! 

In serving one another, we should do all that we can to strengthen and protect our character. 

Myles Munroe stated, “Solid Character will reflect itself in consistent behavior, while poor character will seek to hide behind deceptive words and actions”. 

In terms of building character, what you do speaks louder than what you say. If you are serving, then serve and act to build a character that is well-respected.

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