There is not much in this life that you can called guaranteed. It’s a simple, sad fact. Everything from the breath you breathe to the ground you stand on could fail you and fade away at any moment. The Bible says that the heavens above you and the earth beneath you will fade away and be destroyed. “Well, if those things aren’t reliable, what is?”
GOD is the only reliable entity in this universe. GOD’s Word is what makes the universe. Everything else changes. Everything else rises and falls like waves on the sea, but GOD remains immovable. And GOD made it possible for people to be like Him. He set up a system for people to rely on Him and become immovable like Him. That system is broadly called Godliness. Godliness is being like GOD, and if people wish to have any attribute of GOD in their lives, they need to be Godly. This requires maintaining a pure heart, taking responsibility, and growing in faith.
All the issues that we face in life can be organized into three dynamic categories: heart, responsibility, and faith. The Lord highlighted this to me as I progressed in my study of the Bible. Over and over, as I studied the Word I’d hear it on my insides: Heart. Responsibility. Faith. When I’d encounter a problem in my life, or hear of one in someone else’s life, it was like a gong being hit from inside me: Heart. Responsibility. Faith. It was comforting because I saw the relativity of everything in my life. Problems arose because of a heart issue, a lack of responsibility, or a need to further develop my faith. Blessings came because I had guarded my heart, been responsible, or used my faith. And that was for everything. Money, friendships, family, school, mental and physical health. Everything.
It’s easy to blame environment and circumstances for the choices people make, but really a person’s character is where their choices flow from. Environment and circumstances influence people’s choices heavily, no doubt, but the choice a person makes is affected by and has an effect on their character. It all revolves around character. Environment is arbitrary and is limited to only influencing a person’s character. Environment does not determine a person’s character. Character is determined by the purity of one’s heart, the degree to which one takes responsibility, and the maturity of one’s faith, and all these determining factors are visible through the window of one’s choices. Nature, too, is said to be culpable for people’s choices, but nature is multifaceted as well. Nature, like environment, is arbitrary and can only influence character, not determine it. It’s also easy to look at things in life from a single perspective, but the majority of life is complex. Life itself is multifaceted, so it stands to reason that things pertaining to life would have more than one side. Character development is the same: the heart aspect, the role of responsibility, and the faith life. These can be related to the New Testament concept of “faith, hope, and love” with hope filling the heart, love being a responsibility and faith being faith, of course.
I began to study my Bible in light of this revelation. I looked at the successes and failures of the heroes in the Bible with their heart, responsibility, and faith in mind, hoping to glean something from them that I could use in my life to build my character. I realized, too, that I could share this with people so they could overcome in their lives by looking through the lenses of heart, responsibility, and faith.The real life concept of character is built on these three blocks: heart, responsibility, and faith. Heart issues affect every person on the planet. Every person on the planet has a degree of responsibility they must take. And without faith, not a single person on the planet can fulfill GOD’s will. As believers, we ought to be like Jesus as much as possible. Our character ought to be like Jesus’ character. What was Jesus’ character like? He never talked about character in the scriptures. No, but he did tell us things that make Him who He is. For instance: He says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” That is a determining factor in the character of Jesus. It’s who He is. Moreover, because He lives in us, our character can – in fact – like His. Our heart determines the way we go, we are responsible for the truth we know, and faith is shown in our life by the actions we show.
Your character is what makes you who you are. It’s the choices you make, the habits you create and the legacy you leave behind. Your character is what makes you unique, and it is based on your heart, your responsibility, and your faith. Like an algebraic equation, the product is you, and the components are set, but the values are not. Heart, responsibility and faith are constants, but your heart, your responsibility, and your faith are variables. So take inventory of your life and your character, because who you are can be influenced by all sorts of factors, but it is ultimately decided by you.