Over the years, we as the Body of Christ have put the gifts of the Spirit over character. This should not be. The tree is known by its fruit (character) not gifts.
Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.(Matthew 12:33)
Sharing my own personal experiences over the years in God building character in me have been extremely intense. I believe it’s not enough to just talk about character but actually live it. For years, the Lord has placed other believers around me that walked in great character. I’ve been taught that your character is you, not your ministry. Far too many are in ministry and have great platforms. But, behind closed doors, their character is horrible. I’d rather have a good name than anything else.
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. (Proverbs 22:1)
I remember years ago, the Lord told me He is more concerned about the character of His people than our gifts. Years ago, I was offered an opportunity to minister at a ministry through a leader our ministry was in covenant with. The Lord told me to be on time, which opened future doors with that ministry. Even to the point of, when needing a place to do a conference, the leader offered his church for free.
A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men. (Proverbs 18:22)
Although, this scripture is very true; however, it is our character that keep us there.
Sometimes, walking in character will cost you something. Sometimes your career. That was my story for resigning from 19 years of manufacturing. I loved my job because I love helping people. But not at the cost of my character. In 2006, the Lord allowed me to receive an award in Above and Beyond in productivity. Although, I was excellent in pushing out production in the fastest turn around time, the Lord taught me that quality was better than productivity. Why? Because quality represented my character.
When I resigned, I had been promoted to Human Resources which gave me a more greater insight in having integrity with my employees and came to me for assistance. I didn’t believe in mistreating my employees and I wanted to give them the truth. But, that was not what my managers wanted me to do. So, I took at stand and decided that resigning for the sake of my character was better than mistreating employees. God honored my decision and to this day, I am always welcome to return back to that company.
Will I return back? Nope! But, I will never speak poorly about that company because I have gained more than I have lost. It was my training ground for greater.
Understand, again, why is our character important? Because it play a part in winning souls into the Kingdom. The unsaved need to see our fruit of having good character with others. Even in how we do business in the marketplace.
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. (Proverbs 10:9)
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
For we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man.(2 Corinthians 8:21)
So, no matter where we are, whether ministry or business, let’s conduct ourselves accordingly and put character over gifts. It work! And it will not only transform us but also those around us.