“And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. -Titus 2:7
Can a person’s character change? The answer is simple. Yes. But the first thing needed is an honest look at your character. Well, actually…first you need to define character. Character is the inherent complex of attributes that determines a persons moral and ethical actions and reactions; a person of good repute. You need to want to change your actions and reactions to life. You need to see something about your current behavior you don’t like and the desire to be different from the former you outweighs the standard you have been allowing yourself to live. If you are honest with yourself about the need to change, there is hope!
I wanted to be someone that lived with integrity, an unbroken completeness with nothing wanting or simply put, doing what I say I am going to do. This matter of integrity is often practiced when you don’t want anything in return for the favor performed. But I would make choices like this…years ago my sister needed help moving. I said I would help. But when the day came, the excuses came. Well, she is ALWAYS moving, she got HERSELF into this mess. SHE didn’t pack the way I told her it would be easiest. Blame, excuses and justification for NOT doing something you said you would help with. Travel further down this rabbit hole with me a minute. I did help that day. But I did it with such a bitter heart, such a condescending air about me, that the poison emanating from my very presence was so hard on everyone, my help was more a hinderance and I have not been asked to help again. My reputation precedes me, and not in a way I want to be seen. And that day was like 10 years ago! What happens when no one asks you to actually follow through on anything is your character of integrity atrophies like a limb that doesn’t get used and eventually falls off from the rest of the psyche and you know, deep down, you are NOT a morally sound person. How many occasions have you thought or acted like this?
We are constantly making decisions to be morally sound people. Your decision to cut someone off on the freeway out of spite says something about your character. Your decision to tell someone else’s good news is just as gossipy as airing the dirty laundry of another. A dishonest person lacking integrity tries to get away with doing the least amount of work for the most accolades. The book of TITUS is one of the shortest letters Paul wrote but it is packed with great reminders on how to live a life of good character.
Who wouldn’t want a good reputation preceding them? It takes honesty, open-mindedness and willingness to live differently. Real change can happen. Real goals can be accomplished. Real life can be lived.