A man’s character is his fate Heraclitus Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States (US), said: “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”
As a clergyman, I have watched pitiably how people self-sabotage themselves by seeking spiritual solutions to character-deficit issues. They look around at everybody as suspects for their predicaments when their greatest demons lurk within them- their character.
What we often call our destiny is genuinely our character, and since that character can change, then fate can be altered. The style is destiny.
Is prayer EVERYTHING? Many would begin to argue back and forth on this intriguing question, but my primary purpose of writing this piece is not to get involved in arguments. Arguments don’t improve the validity of a ‘truth;’ they only determine how long it would take before you realise it.
Most people believe that we can pray ourselves to success and get away with virtually anything if we become a stickler to some prayer routines. No amount of spiritual penance can substitute for character. Sometimes, you need style, not prayer.
Dutch Sheets said: “Prayer is not a check request asking for things from God; it is a deposit slip- a way of depositing God’s character into our bankrupt souls.”
British writer and politician, Thomas Macaulay (1800-1859), said: “The measure of a man’s character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.” I have often said that what would ultimately destroy a man going to high places in life is not the enemies that are waiting for him there, but the character that followed him there.
I want to underline the fact that this write-up is not meant to trivialise prayers in any way. I have observed that many people take the character for granted, while overzealously tuning on into their spiritual mode.
We have become so spiritually in tune through prayers that we neglect the place of character and our relationship with people. Many are ‘heavenly’ bound, but with no global relevance. You can speak with spiritual eloquence, pray in public and maintain a holy appearance, but it is your behaviour and character that will trigger the manifestation of all that God has for you.
You must learn to treat people with courtesy.
The Shunammite woman must have been praying for a child all through her life. By being hospitable to a man of God, she eventually got her much-awaited miracle. It wasn’t a prayer that opened the door for her; it was her character. Assuming she wasn’t hospitable, she would have missed a critical miracle.
Many times, we pray, fast and bind demons that don’t exist when our real demons are just our hugely flawed character. Many have insulted people that were divinely placed and orchestrated to help them fulfil their destiny. Some people are keeping malice with their destiny helpers.
Treat people with respect. Treat strangers with courtesy. Never look down on anybody. God can use anyone to change your story.
Abigail Van Buren said: “The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”
You can quickly judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. The way we treat people we think can’t help or hurt us, like housekeepers, waiters, and secretaries, tells more about our character than how we treat people we think are essential. How do you handle people?
One of the most impressive architectural feats and the most significant military defence project in history is the Great Wall of China. In 1987, UNESCO designated the Great Wall a World Heritage site, and a famous, controversial claim that emerged in the 20th century holds that it is the only human-made structure that is visible from space.
Initially conceived by Emperor Qin Shi Huang (c. 259-210 B.C.) in the 3rd Century B.C. as a means of preventing incursions from Mongolians and barbarian nomads into the Chinese Empire, the wall is one of the most extensive construction projects ever completed.
History has it that when the ancient Chinese decided to live in peace, they made the Great Wall of China; they thought no one could climb it due to its height. During the first 100 years of its existence, the Chinese were invaded thrice, and every time, the hordes of enemy infantry did not need penetrating or climbing over the wall, because each time, they bribed the guards and came through the doors.
The Chinese built the wall but forgot the character- building of the wall-guards. Though the Great Wall has over the years, become a powerful symbol of the country’s enduring strength and spirit, but it has been a good reminder to the Chinese of the superiority of human character.
The Chinese realised much later that the best defence against the enemy is not a fortified wall, but a strong character. Thus, the building of human nature comes before the structurethe of anything else.
Prayer is not EVERYTHING! Build relationships, and don’t ever forget that God will always use man. Be mindful of your words and how you speak to people. Work seriously on your character and attitude towards life.
I want to say emphatically that character is not optional; it is sacrosanct to the future that God has planned for you. No matter where you place prayers, character matters. The greatest fraud in life is religion without character. A man without character is recklessly alive.
William Shakespeare captured it succinctly when he said: “The fault is not in our stars, but ourselves.” Peter Schutz, the former chief executive officer of Porsche, said: “HIRE CHARACTER; TRAIN SKILLS.” Back in the days when Germany was divided, a vast wall separated East and West Berlin.
One day, some people in East Berlin took a truckload of garbage and dumped it on the West Berlin side.
The people of West Berlin could have done the same thing, but they didn’t.
Instead, they took a truckload of canned goods, bread, milk and other provisions, and neatly stacked it on the East Berlin side.
On top of this stack they placed the sign:
*“EACH GIVES WHAT HE HAS”*
How very true! You can only give what you have.
What do you have inside of you?
Is it hate or love?
Violence or peace?
Death or life?
Capacity to build our ability to destroy?
What have you acquired over the years?
Team spirit or pull down architecture?
*”EACH GIVES WHAT HE HAS”*
Think about it!
Please give out the good in you always.