Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Question of Commitment to the Conquest for Character

OBSERVATIONS of life, made from crucial vantage points of assessment, reflecting over what has been and what is done, we come, afresh, to decision time.
As any game or event is — a plethoric series of potentially significant moments — which we only note as significant as we look back — our lives are chockfull of such moments. And the game isn’t over!
The game of life is about the character to avert pride in victory and remain stoic in defeat. And life is a game, if we can imagine how important such events are to us mere mortals. We place so much stock in the winning of competitions, whether it be sport, politics, current affairs, even wars. Yet we miss what’s blatantly in front of us — but for a little reflection: life is the most serious, most truth-filled game of all.
What proves my point better than death? We are all dying, and will one day pass into the realm of God. What will be important then?
All of life is a conquest for one thing or another: comfort, here, or character.
Comfort and character are about choices and consequences. We, by our choices, choose our own consequences.
Life will take us on a passage of moments — much like a game — and it will put us in situations where we have choices. Choices force decisions. To be indecisive is the worst: the critic is the one who remains so indecisive they opt to criticise others rather than step into the arena themselves — and make something of a contest of their game.
It’s too easy to have an opinion; will our opinion drive us into a position of doing something? That’s the challenge.
Life’s about deciding the question of commitment to the conquest for character.
We’re all committed to something; the worst of us is committed to everything in such a way we’re committed to nothing: classic behavioural indecision.
If we can strip away all the little distractions of life that matter so little, we can commit to the only thing that matters much: character.
Character is formed in us when we make tough choices that subtract our comfort.
Character is added to us as a joy when comfort is willingly subtracted.
The more we resist comfort for comfort sakes — comfort therapy — the more we can take hold of which is our holy destination in Christ.
Sure, there are times when we do genuinely need comfort; times when our cravings are holy and appropriate; times when we crave God’s comfort. A comfort only his Holy Spirit can provide. Yet, it’s a classic irony that God-comfort is actually the fast track to character growth. It’s the only viable comfort; the only comfort that works.
But every sensual and worldly comfort takes us away from character formation and maturation.
The truth is there are many moments in our lives when we face the same question:
“Will I make a fresh commitment to the conquest for character?”
Your answer?
It only matters to you and God — and, of course, to everyone your life impacts.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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