Updated: Jun 17
Six Gears to Build Unstoppable Momentum - Bloom to Your Fullest (4-2)
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control
In the midst of the American Civil War, an advisor to President Lincoln expressed gratitude that God was on the side of the Union. In response, Lincoln humbly stated, "Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right."
Welcome to Step 4 of the Grow to Your Fullest journey (Figure below), a part of the Bloom to Your Fullest series. In our previous post, Unleashing the Power Within: Journeying to Your Fullest Potential with God, we discussed the first power (aka Gears) to build your unstoppable momentum at each stage of your life journey. Today let’s discuss the second gear, Character, which forms the core foundation of our achievements.
Character: Pleasing God
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart —Psalm 37:3-4
A person’s belief, value and principle determine his character, which determines the directions of his life. Each belief system has its own principle to guide the actions of its followers. Godless people believe in personal efforts and value opportunism as smart. But, those who believe in God know that all goodness and wisdom emanate from Him. We value integrity and congruence, aligning out thoughts, words, and actions. Our transparency eliminates hidden agendas and earns people’s trust.
In the Bible, King David was a man after God’s heart. His attitude toward Saul, who persecuted him, demonstrated that he sought God’s will first. This ensured that he did not seek revenge against Saul with his own hands though he had a good reason to avenge himself from man’s perspective. David’s exemplary morality earned him the loyalty of many followers, even during his tough times. After many years of wandering, he eventually became the king, and God's promise ensured the lasting stability of his throne.
People with a character that pleases God are empathetic and can easily forgive other’s mistakes or offenses. They can tolerate different opinions and they actively listen during communication. They put others’ interests first in any relationship and proactively take responsibility, and lead by example.
The Lord, Jesus himself serves as a shining example in this regard. When he was alive, he washed the feet of his disciples and asked them to imitate him.
A person with a godly character attracts people spontaneously. Such a pleasing character serves as the cornerstone of the other four gears: vision, execution, faith, and leadership. Having a pleasing character helps us find our vision quickly because God loves those who please him; it strengthens our faith, granting us the courage and wisdom to make exceptionally hard decisions; it also enhance our ability to influence and inspire others, enabling us to rally them to our cause. With the power of influence, we unite people together, harnessing the synergy of a team and the wisdom of a collective.
A person with a godly character bears nine fruits from the Holy Spirit: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). Such a character serves as the solid foundation we need to grow to our fullest and enables us to receive God’s promises, fulfilling the desires of our hearts: He will give you what you desire (Psalm 37:4) and receiving his blessings. It illuminates the darkness within us, enabling us to overcome it and cultivate a pure heart that others find faultless.
Like David, the king who sought to be on God's side, let us too desire a pure heart as we implore, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; ... and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24). By following David's example, we can align our plans and desires with God's heart.
Lincoln’s answer to his advisors tells us it’s more important to align our plans and desires to God’s heart.
The victory of the Union (also known as the North) in the American Civil War is often attributed to Lincoln's leadership. However, I believe it was Lincoln's character that pleased God, leading to the triumph.
A character grounded in God's teachings positions us beside God so that He stands alongside us in both good and challenging times. God also aids us in winning the hearts and support of others. With this assurance, we can lead confidently in any endeavor, ensuring a flourishing life.
In our next post, we will explore the third gear of building unstoppable momentum: Vision - Seeing What Others Cannot See.
May you grow to your fullest!
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