When I was growing up I remember my parents telling me two things:
- Do the right thing.
- Always try your best.
I had to do the right thing even if it wasn’t “popular.” Stand up for friends, help classmates that need it. If I came home with a 95% on a test, my Dad would ask me if I tried my best. It didn’t matter that I got an A, was it my best? At the time I thought it was extremely frustrating. Doing the right thing and ALWAYS trying your best isn’t easy. I realize now that what my parents were trying to do was build my character.
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
So essentially, the Lord requires us to do the right thing. I’ve found that as adults, people are drawn to those who have good character.
Think about it. Often times people associate us with what we do: our jobs and our talents. You may have a great amount of talent for something something that makes you well known in your field, but that doesn’t mean people like you. It may not even mean they want to work with you. I look up to well known athletes more when they use their talents and platforms to serve. When I find out an athlete cheats, does drugs, or treats others unfairly I no longer look up to them as much. I want celebrities to serve as people that children can look up to with admiration.
Beyond fame, our coworkers, peers, neighbors, friends, and potentially children we interact with every day are watching us. This means we have the potential to be influencers. Do we want to only be known for what we do? Or do we people to remember that we consistently stand up for what is right? Within our own communities people may look up to how we live.
First we have to decide what kind of people we want to be.
We can all think of the kind of person we don’t want to be. I don’t want to be the kind of person that people are nervous to be around. I don’t want people to think I lack empathy. Instead, I want people to think that I approach situations from a place of love, tolerance, patience and grace.
Steal your favorite attributes from your friends, mentors, leaders, and people you admire. You may have a friend who always stands by you even if they disagree with your opinion. A mentor may have taught you to look past a person’s exterior and help them with their internal struggles. Most attributes that we admire can be narrowed down to people coming from a place of love and understanding.
When you decide who you want to be, you can weave your character and your talents together. People will remember you from the feeling you give off when you interact with them. They will remember you for your positive characteristics. This will make your talents, your passions, your work, and your life shine.
As you approach difficult situations you can always remember:
- I need to do the right thing.
- I need to try my best.
When you do those things, you know you are living your life in God’s glory.
Prayer for today:
Dear God, Please continue to surround me with a community of people I admire. I want to live my life with good character. I want to walk humbly with you. Please influence the decisions I make in order to help me always do the right thing. Amen.