Photo Creds: Scott Webb

“How you do anything is how you do everything. It all matters.”

Derek Sivers

In our temporary life on earth, the many facets which encompass life can change very easily.

We can very easily change the city, town or countryside in which we inhabit, and assimilate into their language and culture. We can quite easily lose what is material – as easily as dropping a phone which will crack the screen, having our belongings stolen, or being careless when cooking in which one fire could burn the house down. It is only a matter of time before one’s youthful vigour is emptied, one’s beauty fades, and we take on a frail state of existence. Yet there is one thing that is a common denominator among all change, regardless of being positive or negative. That being character.

Whether we like it or not, we are stuck with who we are. To some degree, there is some aspect of one’s character which we are not able to change – ontologically speaking. There are some traits or even features that we register to be signature traits of a person. That is who they are. However, if any change to our character does occur, it will have far-reaching implications, which can be either a blessing that pays dividends for ourselves and those around us or an abrasive thorn in the side.

“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favour is better than silver or gold.”

Proverbs 22:1 ESV

Therefore, investing in one’s character is a worthwhile exercise. The subsequent question is, how do we do so? As character is very much tied to the sense of self, it’s a gradual as well as deliberate process. To some extent, the aphorism “fake it till you make it” has some degree of truth, in which the more we deliberately try uncomfortable actions and behaviours, such as leading a team, it becomes ever slightly more natural. We can furthermore design the environment in which we live, such that we may have more opportunities to exercise leadership – more opportunities to “fake it till we make it” as it were. At the end of the day, it is very much the little choices and actions that aggregate to consist who we are, and thus the fine-tuning of these little choices and actions which inspires change.

Yet more pertinently, character development is ultimately looking towards to Christ – as it provides hope that is much needed in this world.

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

– Romans 5:1-11 ESV