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Nov 30

Our Character Rises To The Surface

Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

Values are the things that are most important to us.  Yesterday I challenged you to consider your values and identify a Top 5.  Some of you even made yours public, thank you.

My Top 5 were Family, Friendship, Love, and Religious Beliefs, with Security edging out Peace and Self-Respect for the fifth spot. 1

With that in mind, I would like to think that my values would represent what I did with my time and money.  I’d like to say they do, but as often as my wife has teased me about “my mistress” — the laptop — I must confess to my misplaced priorities.

What we do, what we think, what we invest in, exposes our values; like it or not.

Values shape who we are, how we behave, how we treat other people, and how we feel about ourselves.  When I live consistent with my values that congruence adds to my peace and self-respect.  My values compliment each other.  On the other hand, when I realize that I spent another evening writing, reading or playing on my laptop with only occasional interactions with Amy — “my favorite person on the planet” — I’ve failed!

Our character is sum total of the values we choose and the choices they engender.

Our Character Always Rises To The Surface

Ndamukong Suh, a professional football player for the Detroit Lions was suspended this week by the NFL for “unsportsmanlike conduct”.  Jay Glazer reported, “it was Suh’s fifth violation of on-field rules in the past two seasons.” 2

One writer complained, “The character assassination of a good man such as Suh is what bothers me about this story.” 3

I would argue, our character rises to the surface.  Would “a good man” stomp an opponent?  Would “a good man” be voted by his peers “the dirtiest player in the NFL” before this most recent incident? 4

“Ndamukong Suh used to be my favorite player”, wrote Ross Tucker, “Not anymore. Not by a long shot. Now I think a lot of his behavior is cowardly.” Admirers now view him as “cowardly”.

Tucker continues, “the act (of stomping another player’s arm) itself wasn’t what bothered me most. It was how he handled himself after the game that really struck a nerve…This isn’t the first time Suh has handled himself with a lack of class…he taunted and ridiculed Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan in Week 7 after Ryan got hurt. That goes against everything I was always taught as a professional player…” 5

Addressing Corrupted Character

Can we act incongruent with our values, yes, of course.  I imagine that’s what pepper spraying policeman John Pike would privately admit. 6  I imagine almost everyone listed in USA Todays’ list of Black Friday mishaps would agree. 7

How about you?  Are you like me?  Have you wounded someone?  Have you compromised your values?  It might seem simplistic, and sometimes I’ve jumped the gun asking forgiveness too quickly, but “I’m sorry.  I wish I didn’t do that.  How can I make it right?  Would you please forgive me?” has helped me.  It works with most people, and it always works with God!

People can hold grudges, but God doesn’t; “if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.” 8

Don’t settle for misguided values, if you can, make it right.

1 – If you haven’t considered your Top 5, here’s my challenge.

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8 – 1 John 1:9, CEV

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