Building Character, the Foundation Up

man standing with two hands

Much like a building, a person’s character should be built on a strong foundation. Over time, even with a strong foundation, due to our poor choices, slowly we will chisel away our rough exterior, leaving us standing in our rubble. Life trials are to test the strength of that foundation. If we persevere through life’s ups and downs we will be able to withstand our self-inflicted natural disasters. And then we can pick up our pieces and rebuild a more satisfying life.

Good character is a strength when selling a home and distinguishes the good person from the bad.
We sold our family home
and the selling point was it’s character.

Character, per Collin’s Dictionary, a person or place consists of all the qualities they have that make them distinct from other people or places.

A House Built On A Strong Foundation

Over the years our friends have commented on the uniqueness of our home. Not only do I want them to view my house with plenty of character, but it should be representative of a strong family.

Thirty-six years ago my in-laws built the house on a strong foundation. My husband’s parents built a life on their Christian values. Their home life represented these ideals.

Twenty-seven years ago my husband and I bought the home and started to build our family on the same foundation. As the years went by slowly we started to rip down the walls, doing our best to shake the foundation to it’s core.

A home and a person's character should be built on a strong foundation.
My in-laws built our home on a strong foundation.

A House Built With False Character

With our blood, sweat, and tears we fully remodeled the house to reflect us. Homes say much about those who reside in them and we wanted the home to portray us. So we built in plenty of extra character. Unfortunately, just because we created character within our house doesn’t mean it is an accurate portrayal of us.

The character we build doesn't always represent us well.
After we build the character we need to do more than simply playing a role.

Character, per Collin’s Dictionary, is a person represented in a play, film, story, etc; role.

A good character doesn’t just play a role, but it is developed and grows over a period of time. As humans we are susceptible to making poor choices and it’s what we do after we fall which reflects our natural character.

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

Kahlil Gibran

When we fall down we need to get right back up. We should wear our scars as a badge of honor. They are a reminder of how far we have come and how through healing we can restore our hope.

Jesus shows His scars.

When He returns to the disciples He shows them as proof of His love for them. He doesn’t hide them. He doesn’t cover them in concealer.

Are we able to do that?

Are we able to show off the nose that sticks out of our face?

Or the thighs that jiggle.

Or the burns on our hands.

Or the empty space where a leg once stood.

Or the hot red x’s on our chests, our breasts gone forever?

Or the uterus that won’t work or the heart that barely pumps?

Or the lungs that quake with every breath?

Can we show these things now knowing they’re a part of this story whether we like that they’ve been written or not?

Can we accept that there’s no pencil to erase these wrongs, and maybe even accept that they’re not “wrongs” in the Father’s hands?

That they’re the bridge between my soul and yours?

That they’re dot, dot, dotting to a beautiful “right” that sits just left of perception.

~ Ericka Clay

Meet Ericka and subscribe to her podcast…

Building Character With a Godly Foundation

The Christian definition of character stresses the strength of the moral fiber. Honesty, ethics, and charity distinguish a woman of noble character. We do not judge character on an isolated incident but on the bigger picture. Character is a result of how we handle a poor choice.

Godly character is the result of the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification, God will use our shameful actions to strengthen our character. As a Christian it is a desire to grow in character and should set a good example, not just play the role.

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”

Romans 5:3-4 NLT

Rebuilding from a broken past…

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