Character Traits

Have you ever had a cartoon caricature of you drawn by an artist at a fair or other venue? Did it reveal your positive traits or accentuate the negative? What circumstances have you encountered that have revealed the positive or negative traits of someone’s character? What aspects of your character stick out in the minds of others?

Recently I got a call from our daughter who is in her senior year at UGA. She was headed to meet with a professor to get some advice on a project she was working on for that class. She was excited because she has learned how valuable it is to get to know your professor and how much it can help! I was stunned by what she shared with me after the meeting. The meeting went well. She received the information and help she was looking for, but she got something she was not looking for–a “lesson about character.”

After Collins had discussed with the professor her questions, the professor took the time to get to know Collins. They had a great time discussing Collins last three years at Georgia. They talked about her graduating a year early from high school to attend UGA, her experience with golf at UGA, appealing to continue to receive her scholarship and winning the appeal. As they talked, the professor started to teach Collins this lesson on character.

Since Collins had been involved in sports at UGA, the professor shared a story about a former student…who called with a “reason” for missing class. It seemed reasonable and understandable until the professor decided to look online to celebrate the reason the student gave for missing class. The student told the professor she couldn’t come to class because her significant other was in contention to win a tournament. Upon hanging up the phone, the professor told her husband, who is a big UGA fan.

They went online to see the tournament and, to the professor’s dismay, found that the significant other was not close to being in contention. The professor used this incident to teach Collins about the importance of “integrity”. This former student had forever made the impression on this professor as one who is a “manipulator and liar”. She continued to share with Collins the distaste she had for this type of situation. Her first impression of this student had been positive and now her impression was one of disgust and dismay.

Collins was speechless upon hearing the story. To say the least, she was not looking for what she got from that visit. This story about the importance of integrity will forever make a lasting impression on Collins.

Collins and I discussed, at length, how we have all lied at some point in our lives. If you are reading this and you think you are exempt…YOU ARE DECEIVED! At some point in your life…you have lied. Hopefully you are not characterized by lying..but we all need to examine this area in our life…..
Do we tell the truth?
Do we manipulate situations for our supposedly greater good?
Let us all learn an invaluable lesson here….INTEGRITY…is a key character trait. It is vital for strong relationships.

In a recent survey that came out in Business Week, integrity was the number 1 trait that was sought out and valued in the work place over performance or capability. Just think about this for a minute…if someone can’t trust you….what else is there to offer?

Trust is key. Integrity is glue. It is the cement of who you are as a person. It is the positive trait you want exaggerated if a caricature of you could be drawn that showed traits such as trust and integrity.

Scripture is filled with stories of deception, lack of trust, lack of integrity. It shows who we really are but it also shows our need for a Savior. It shows His grace and mercy. Jeremiah 9:5 shows us just how bad things can get if we aren’t careful…if we don’t keep a strong relationship with God as priority number 1. “Friend deceives friend, and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongues to lie; they weary themselves with sinning.”

I encourage you to examine your “integrity” card….What does it read…..? Is there a dark corner in your mind where you justify stretching the truth…to your greater good or benefit?

Proverbs 14:5, “A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies.”

“Honesty and Integrity are absolutely essential for success in life, all areas of life. The really good news is that anyone can develop both honesty and integrity.” ~Zig Ziglar.

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