Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Character in a Culture that Values Results

In our new book, Norman Blackaby and I state the importance of the topic of character in our society today:

We do not have to look far to see that character is no longer a prerequisite for success in our culture. Politicians, religious and community leaders, business leaders, and individuals have demonstrated that we live in a culture that values results above character. We have segregated our private lives from our public ones, and our faith is a matter of personal conviction and no longer a player in the public square...Character and integrity are optional to the bottom line...We depend on spin, not truth, to clear our soiled character, and we count on sound bites and news clips to be authentic portraits of those we elect to office. Companies hide unfair and unethical practices behind carefully produced advertising campaigns and, sadly, churches sometimes cover up the unseemly messes of their leaders and their spending habits in order to portray a benevolent image to the community.
How do you live a life of godly character in "a culture that values results above character?"  We believe it is a matter of the heart. When we start tromping through the pages of His-story, we see God chose and changed people like you and me--people whose hearts wander from God regularly but who responded when God called them and who let God capture their hearts for His purposes.

This is why when we write about character in our book, Character: The Pulse of a Disciple's Heart, we point people to a heart-realationship with God as the source and measure of our character, not a list of moral rules or hand-picked characteristics. The lifeblood of a disciple, or, follower of Jesus, is a heart filled with God's Spirit and intentions. Our character flows out of our heart's intimacy with God. 

So, rather than insisting you conform to a list of behaviors or characteristics we choose, we invite you to walk with real people in real time with God from the Scriptures. By observing the men and women God chose to join Him in his eternal rescue mission and how God developed their character we believe we can experience the same heart-centered relationship with God as He calls us to a life that makes a difference.

This week at Legacy Church, we will begin walking through the book and what the Bible has to say about character. Join us at 9:00 a.m., follow the signs, and see what God has to say to you about your character.

You can get a free sample chapter of the book here, and you can hear a podcast of me defining character from the book. You can order the paperback from New Hope Publishers directly, or, if you are a NOOK user, you can get a copy now.

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