October 13 – Holding On – To Character

Read 1 Peter 4:1-19

Oh, the joy of re-runs on TV!  I don’t know what draws me to them since I know most of the plots and have seen them over and over.  I think it is probably because the characters have become so familiar to me they are almost like friends.  We all know the good guys, Andy, Barney, Lucy, Richie, Shirley, and Laverne. They become so familiar to us that, at times, we forget that the person we see is only an actor pretending to be the character on the show.

Sometimes it is hard to separate the actor from the character they are known for and it comes as a shock when we read in a fan magazine or hear on the news in real life these actors we have loved cheating on their spouse or have bad drug, drinking or gambling addictions.

In our mind it is so “out of character!”

What would the viewers of your life story think of your character?

Would they be shocked to learn about the real you?

In today’s reading, Peter helps us put a check on what our review should look like. We should not be living for our own wants but for the will of God. Use your gifts not only for praise for yourself but to serve others! Know and speak God’s truth, not curse words.  Keep your mind sober and not drunken with drugs, alcohol or even praises from others.

Today’s reading warns us not to change to “fit in”, not to indulge in drunkenness and sexual promiscuity. What part of your God-given character are you giving up to “fit in’ with your friends? Do you live for God and try to do good or do you live for evil and try to see what you can get away with? Do you live to lift up other people or do you live for the daily gossip on social media?

Do you have standards, a line you will not cross behavior-wise?  What about the words that come out of your mouth?  Do you find yourself often saying, “Excuse my French!” when you aren’t even speaking the French language? Do you call upon the name of Jesus Christ to bless someone or only when you are mad and upset?

“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.”

Billy Graham

If your character isn’t that great and you often give in to peer pressure, it isn’t too late. Ask God to forgive you and help you get on the right path. As Peter says, it isn’t easy. People who were once your friends will wonder what is wrong with you and may even harass you. But, with each “no” you say, you are making a stand for God! You never know when your strength might be what draws others to God too!

Pat Arnold

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