The deeper your character, the easier it will be for you to develop an attitude of excellence. In fact, if you wish to experience success and fruitlessness in life, character is a necessary foundation. Without it, you will never survive success..
Although God desires success for each of us, success comes with inherent pitfalls to which the flesh is vulnerable. If there is in you a shallowness of character, you will easily fall prey to the clutches of pride, avarice, greed or the abuse of power.
So how do you develop character?
We want the good things of life handed to us on a silver platter. But there is a price to pay for godly character. God uses trials and lean times to mature you spiritually and to develop in you the character necessary for you to be fruitful in your relationships and finances.
By this My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. (John 15:8)
Imagine you owned a four-karat diamond worth thousands of dollars. This beautiful diamond is delicately displayed in a setting made up of five or six fingers called prongs. If the prongs are soft and prone to bending, then one sharp bump and the diamond is lost forever. A qualified jeweler would never mount such a stone in a weak setting.
The jeweler works diligently on the setting for each stone. When the diamond is polished and set, the fingers of the setting are made to tightly grasp the stone. The setting not only displays the radiant beauty of the diamond but also holds it fast. Then when the ring is bumped, the strong fingers won't let go.
Character is like the setting of a ring. If we do not allow God to build in us strong character, then we won't be ready for the success He wants to bring to our lives.
Character doesn't come cheap. It comes at a price - the price of digging your knees into the carpet, the price of studying, the price of suffering and the price of going through trials and discipline. We must be willing to pay the price. Let's look at what the apostle Paul says about the cost:
Everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. So, whatever it takes, I will be one who lives in the fresh newness of life. (Phil. 3:8-11, TLB)
Circle those three words in your heart, "whatever it takes." Be willing to pay the price for character, whatever it takes. And whatever it takes, let's be counted among those who live in the newness of life!