Shaped by Character, not by Circumstances

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Shaped by Character

Welcome to Three-Peat Tuesday!

Each weekly blog will contain three P’s: Pillar, Principle and Practical, all geared towards nourishing you on your personal and spiritual growth journey.

Pillar: Strength of Character

“Have you considered my servant Job…He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason”-Job 2:3

Principle: Building Character

Life is tough. Beautiful, but tough. Hardship is real and ubiquitous.  A ‘trouble-free’ week is non-existent this side of heaven.

These reflections led me to the Old Testament book of Job earlier this week. Many of us are familiar with his travails of unimaginable proportions. When you read Chapter 1 of the book named after him, here’s what you’ll find:

  • He lost his oxen and donkeys
  • He lost his sheep and camels
  • He lost his servants
  • Excruciatingly, he lost his children

How did Job respond? He worshiped God (Job 1:20).

I have faced trials and have experienced failures. Like most of you, I’ve also buried loved ones before. But nothing like Job. His ability to look to God and surrender his grief in holy submission is incredible and also comforting.

Job’s integrity in the face of difficulty tells me that it is humanly possible to be shaped by character and not by circumstances. Suffering, crime, poverty, injustice, inequality, disease, dysfunction and abuse are, sadly, part of our human reality. Still, we must passionately seek eliminate them at their root and constantly advocate for change.

God is aware of the brokenness of our world. The message of the kingdom that Jesus preached was not intended to establish institutional religion, but instead to catalyze a radical following of persons whose love for God and others would surpass all else.

Job struggled. He wavered. He even regretted the day of his birth. But he never gave up on God. The integrity of his character would not allow it.

Practical: Developing Character

Embrace your next trial with faith. The maturity of your character is worth the trouble.

If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is now available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Ronke+Cunningham

    I meditated on John 12:24 all day yesterday. For me that scripture is about surrender, total surrender! Job demonstrates for me what total surrender looks like. On a practical level,
    stepping out of my comfort zone and being in control are two areas of surrender that I battle with daily. Total surrender to me means total trust in God. A heart that is not surrended is a heart that does not truly trust God. So my question to myself is what would my response be should I find myself in circumstances just like Job’s. Would I give up on God?

  2. J. Tyrone Marcus

    These are powerful thoughts that you’ve shared Ronke. I appreciate the depth of your reflections on the life-changing biblical principles to which you referred.

  3. Nanieno

    For me, this has to be the rubber hitting the road. I can tell myself I will be righteous in a situation until I am in it and realize that it is more than just mouthing words, I have to be engaged always. Thanks for this Tyrone, as I recently went through something very traumatic and had to come face to face with the real was of my circumstances. Thank God for building my character over the years so I can now stand by his strength.

  4. Janelle

    Thanks for these thoughts, Tyrone. I must confess that I do not want to embrace them 🙁 . When I experience hardships, I wrench and writhe, trying to get out of them. I find myself trying to figure out a way out of the hardship, often getting irritable and ungodly, rather than taking everything to God each and every time. Job’s example is truly an upward call.

  5. J. Tyrone Marcus

    You’re bang on target, Janelle. Job’s character is on another level. It gives me hope.

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