During my morning walk. I was thinking about all the many ways I have failed in life. So, of course, that led to thinking about my accomplishments in order not to feel bad about myself. I’ve had some horrible failures and some amazing accomplishments. The magnitude of each may not have been recognized without the contrast of the other.
Have you ever pondered the theory that we aren’t taking any of our accomplishments or failures with us to the next life, all we are taking is our character?
It isn’t an amusing thought for me. Character, the same one that has propelled me to success and to the depths of failure, that’s what I have with me as I meet God, Jesus, the Saints, and angels? Seriously, thank heaven for mercy and grace!
Oh sure there are some things I might say are good about myself. My work ethic is phenomenal, my boldness is legendary, my intelligence is sufficient, my common sense is sound, my love is passionate. Like most people I’ve been educated in proper processes, maximizing resources, the latest how-to’s to handle todo’s, efficient organization, team building, self-motivation, effective communication. And like most people I was encouraged from a young age to be a good person, a productive law-abiding citizen, a hard worker, a loyal friend, a responsible adult.
It’s not the outward obvious things that bother me about myself, it’s the innermost workings of my mind and heart that give me cause for pause. Perhaps it’s the rapidly changing times we are living through that make me wonder, will I stand firm on my beliefs regardless of who is shaking their finger in my face? Or will I be like Peter and betray my closest friend?
Character, the inward part of ourselves that only we know, is the most important and the most difficult part of ourselves to face, to control, to change, to accept, to live with, to carry with us into the next life. Our personality and outward appearance seem to get most of our attention and although those things can be challenging, they aren’t as difficult, or scary, as looking inward.
Lord, teach us how to focus on building the character traits You want to see in us. Show each of us what our spiritual gifts and talents are, the ones You embedded in our core being before we were born to this life. Instruct us on how to integrate them with our personality to successfully maneuver through the physical world while winning battles for You in the spiritual world.