“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” ~ John Wooden
In John C. Maxwell’s newest book, The Power of Your Potential, he devotes one chapter to character potential as a daily activity. Character is affirmed with our choices, actions and words in every situation 24:7:365 - in our homes, in our workplaces, our houses of worship, and our interactions with others. Our character should be the same in any of these situations.
In my teens, I attended church with a man who was very nice to me and my family. His son was in my youth group and one of my good friends. When I asked him about a bruise I saw on his face one day, he sheepishly told me it was because his dad — one of the nicest men at church — had hit him. And, it wasn’t the first time. I was shocked. It did not align with the actions and person I saw on Sunday mornings. As more of the truth was revealed, it became known that the character he displayed at church and in the community was a “mask” he wore. His true character was represented with how he acted in his home. What we thought we saw, wasn’t who he really was or what he represented to the world. He was not a man of strong values or good character. He was not a good man. He was an abuser and not a truth-teller or good man, father, parishioner, employee. His character and reputation were flawed and all trust was broken. The family eventually moved.
Here are some important points Maxwell encourages us to know about our character:
Personal values are the foundation of character.
Good character is a choice we can make every day.
Good character speaks louder than words.
Good character is consistent in all areas of life.
Good character engenders trust.
Good character is tested (and needed!) in times of trouble.
Good character always takes the high road.
Good character delivers on promises.
So, how do you rate yourself on character? Does your character reflect your values or do you need to do some realignment? Take the steps you need to increase your character potential every single day!