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I asked Alan this question as we sat in lounge-chairs outside Starbucks on a beautiful mid-morning.
He wrinkled his forehead. “Where did that come from?”
“Well I googled on the word ‘Character’, and it came back with ‘The combination of qualities or features that makes a person distinctive’”, I replied.
He laughed. “So it boils down to what makes me distinctive”.
Still smiling, he said “This Java Chip frappuccino is distinctive…..it’s outstanding and I am savoring every sip”.

Two high-school girls wandered out with their coffees, and sat down near us.
“I still want to know where that question came from?” Alan persisted.
“A tax accountant read my book”, I replied, “and he said that Michelle’s character was so unique that it made the book really interesting”.
“Well, she was distinctive” Alan agreed, “What with having been to heaven, and then taking hikes with you and Kara down here on earth”.
“Yes, and revealing some of the secrets of heaven”.
“And saving the people when the jeep flipped in the river”, he added.
“Yes, and then vanishing. She was distinctive alright”.

As we basked in the end-of-summer sunshine of Albuquerque, my friend drilled deeper in thought.
“The church says we are supposed to develop a Christ-like character”.
“Yes, and he was distinctive too”, I responded.
“He sure was”.
“So how are we supposed to be distinctive and Christ-like?”
“Well for one, we know we are children of God….God is our father. For another, we are optimistic in life, and have hope beyond death……the hope of heaven that Michelle told us about”.

As the school girls looked at us with curious expressions, Alan raised his Java Chip in a toast. “To us being more distinctive this weekend”.

The Gray Nomad.
Probing the practice of Christian believers……

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4 Responses to Do you have character?

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  2. I’m reminded of something C.S. Lewis (Christian apologist) wrote in one of his books. He said that the tyrants of history were essentially all the same, while Christians were uniquely different. One way to understand that is in terms of character. What Lewis is saying I think is that to be a Christian (born again) is to be the person God intended them to be and that person is now free to develop his or her character in a way they never would be able to otherwise. As this person develops a Christlike character (perhaps barely perceptible because they have just started out on an eternal journey), they begin to manifest the fruit of the Spirit as they reject their former lifestyle. This difference shows up as a different worldview as they begin to understand the gifts that God blessed them with that had up to now remained unused and unexplored until a new self-realization occurred.
    Now the very power of the God who spoke the universe into existence is free to empower them in every situation as they call upon the Lord to use them.

    • Good comments Garrick. I’ve been thinking about an additional character trait: being thankful for the gift of life. I’m trying to be more thankful that I can see, that I can run, that I can think. When I am feeling thankful, it seems to cancel my feeling down!

  3. Ian, I always like your topics on your blog. They do not have to be long, to get the point across or to give people something to think about. You always have an interesting ending that puts a smile on my face. At my school we have character traits that we teach our students each month. I don’t think people really understand the importance of character until they mature. Good character means good people.

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