Once again it is the time of the year for advancements and transition! After just attending a RN pinning ceremony and with one more graduation to attend, we recognize and salute all those that are graduating. Whether you're celebrating Kindergarten, middle school, high school, trade school or college graduation - Congratulations and best wishes!
Advancement is exciting and challenging at the same time. Henry S. Haskins* (American Author & Educator) once said, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." In obtaining all the education needed to receive high degrees of honor, the character of a person is most crucial. Proverbs 5:21, "For the ways of man are directly before the eyes of the Lord, and He [Who would have us live soberly, chastely, and godly] carefully weighs all man’s goings." Today, image has become more important than character. Style is chosen as valued rather than integrity, morality, or a good reputation. Proverbs 22:1, "Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold." People want to look good on the outside, having the right clothes, shoes, handbag, or even the right educational degree, but aren't nearly as interested in their 'reputation'.
What is good character? Character is a distinctive trait, a pattern of behavior that shows moral strength, self-discipline and fortitude. It's revealed by what is said or done. Most of us have seen shameful indifferent demonstrations of misconduct. Sadly many believe that if it doesn't hurt anyone, it's alright! A person of good character, can know it was formed during a very young age. Any one with questionable character can change.
Improving character skills is realizing everyone is challenged everyday to make good or bad choices. BUT the key to choosing right is to look past the options and regard the results that will be gained. Jesus saw past the pain and shame of the cross and saw the effect of His sacrifice. Even though there were distractions and the choice to disobey, He chose to see the joy of His obedience. (Heb. 12:2) We can consider and select the 'right' thing to do.
It's important to be selective with whom we socialize. Proverbs 13:20 "Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm." It's true, we become like those with which we associate. Being surrounded by people of upstanding character, those that encourage and inspire, and who love God valuing His standards, will be motivate us to make honorable choices.
Never give up! Although the trials of temptations come to fall back into an old habit or way of life, DON'T! Consider all those people that are superb examples of faith for an encouragement! Use every ounce of faith to push aside discouragement, old friends' enticement, or thoughts of past feelings. If all else fails, run, don't walk, away! Reading our Bible to renew our mind to learning God's ways will help us to choose right. Be sure to pray! Having a friend that will be our prayer partner, that we can call upon in times of confrontation, helps make us accountable to right choices. Remember we are more than a conqueror through Christ. (Rom. 8:37)
Proverbs 19:23 Amp. says, "The reverent, worshipful fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it rests satisfied; he cannot be visited with [actual] evil." Anyone who decides to live for the right character and not for image makes the right choice. Will it be easy? No, but anything in life worth achieving or obtaining is a value high above fame or fortune. We end with a charge from the writer of Hebrews "....don't become lazy, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." Remember you have the power to choose!
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."