Character Always Counts

  • Tuesday, January 25, 2011
  • So often, in today’s world, when we select someone for a job, we consider qualifications, experience, leadership capabilities, their resume, references, and understanding of the business at hand. The person’s character usually takes a back seat, if it’s considered at all.

    Search the Web for information on leadership, for example, and more than 150 million responses hit your computer. A similar search for resume will pull up another 150 million listings. Look for strategic planning and you’ll find 20 million. We check references, education, experience in the market but seldom look into the character of the person being interviewed.

    As Titus began his challenging task of finding people to guide the churches of Crete, his first thought was to seek people of character. For a moment, think about Paul’s guidance in his letter to Titus.

    “...appoint elders in every city as I directed you, namely if any man be above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion, for the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward...”  Titus 1:5-7

    Why was character the first qualification that Paul desired? Why didn’t he direct Titus to find men with leadership qualifications? Why wasn’t experience leading a group the first thing he listed? Why didn’t Paul suggest that Titus check the qualifications of possible leaders? Because Paul was being guided by The Lord, and His desire is to have people of strong character in the lead.

    Examples of this focus on character come from the very beginning of the story of God’s people. Let’s look first at Moses and the guidance The Lord gave him through Jethro, his father-in-law.

    “Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them, as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.”   Exodus 18:21

    Moses learned from this wisdom of seeking men of character. As he provided guidance to the people of God as they camped on the banks of the Jordan, waiting for the right time to enter the promised land, consider what he said.

    “Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.”    Deuteronomy 1:13

    Our study of Paul’s letter to Titus offers an excellent lesson on the importance of character in selecting leaders. When we gather next, we’ll consider a list of qualifications. Until then, reflect on these words.

    “Lord, who may abide in Thy tent? Who may dwell on Thy holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; he swears to his own hurt, and does not change; he does not put out his money at interest, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.”  Psalm 15:1-5

    Character Always Counts.


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