For the last several weeks we have studied the importance of character from my book, Character Blocks. With an understanding that character can be good or bad we learned that it is only godly character that possesses load-bearing qualities. Each character trait, good or bad, represents one of the many building blocks in an individual’s foundation. And since a foundation is responsible for the support their house (One’s life) it is critical to build with load-bearing materials, only.
Typically, people pay little attention to the kind of blocks they build with until they experience a few unsightly, difficult telltale signs that pop up. (Read chapter 1 and 2 for specifics on that.) At which point it is critical for one to know that in order to save their house they must remove all of the inadequate building blocks and then replace them with those that possess load-bearing qualities.
The question is, “Where do we get those load-bearing building blocks in which to build with?” They can’t be bought at Home Depot or Lowes but rather developed by the efforts of each person individually. So, how do we develop them? I offer an explanation in chapter 7 where I parallel the development of a Concrete load-bearing building block with the development of a Character load-bearing building block.
Read and study the difference in the development of the blocks in the following parallel:
Concrete load-bearing building blocks are made up of four major ingredients.
Cement: limestone, shell, clay and other ingredients that are put into the fire making it a hard rock substance that is then ground into a powder.
Fine Aggregates: particles of the same kind: sand, gravel, crushed stone, and slag.
These particles are ground small in size and are considered to be greater in value than those which are coarse.
Coarse Aggregates: particles of the same kind: sand, gravel, crushed stone, and slag.
These particles are larger in size compared to the fine aggregates.
The word “coarse” indicates something that has not been refined but rather rough. Thus, less valuable.
Water: is the liquid used to combine and solidify the rest of the ingredients.
Mix all ingredients together until all ingredients are thoroughly blended.
Pour into a form. We all know what that form looks like if we have seen a concrete block.
Cure (let set up) for 28 days. Then it is ready to use for building.
Character load-bearing building blocks also have 4 major ingredients. And, as you read compare the similarities of the specific ingredients as well as the process of mixing and pouring into the specific forms.
Convictions are thoughts which are deeply rooted into one’s heart, soul and mind. (Check out chapter 5, C=M+E to look more closely at this.)
Values represent those thoughts that have been intricately woven into the heart and soul of an individual by being a part of a particular family, culture, or religion. Notice that values is plural. There may be more than one thought that goes into the mix but be sure they do not offer a compromise.
Beliefs represent what one thinks or believes about basically anything. A belief is easily changed with a new piece of information. Notice that beliefs is a plural. There may be more than one thought that goes into the mix so just be sure to understand love so that you don’t hold onto it too tight.
Spirit, represents the right emotion or the right spirit. God is a Spirit and He is love.
Mix all ingredients together until reaching a smooth consistency that will easily pour into the particular character mold. Each thought must be sufficiently saturated by the Spirit in order for the form to solidify so keep stirring until everything is mixed together well.
Pour the mix into the specific character form. In other words, understand the character you are developing.
Cure for 28 opportunities.
This is where we really want to pay attention!!! Look at the word “opportunities” vs. “days”, the directive used in the concrete formula. Here you will need at least 28 opportunities, choosing the right thought and spirit to develop a block that is load-bearing and ready to in your building project. In other words, if your Character Block is Honesty you will need to be honest at least 28 times. You may have 28 opportunities to be honest and only succeed half the time. That will not provide the cure or the setting up of a load-bearing block. Those missed opportunities to be honest do, however, provide the opportunity for you to go below the surface and dig up the roots (chapter 3, Brier Roots) so the fruit doesn’t keep popping up.
We want 28 successful opportunities which will cause the character block to cure. Yes, when it is cured it eliminates the weakness in one’s foundation. I cannot and will not promise a cure but will tell you that as you follow this model you will get there whether it takes 28 or more successful opportunities.
These efforts will have a positive effect and possibly a cure, however, regarding one’s mental, physical, spiritual, or relational health which we studied a few weeks ago entitled, “Me and My Big But”.
I Corinthians 3:10-11 says, “…and each must continually see how he is building.”
I Corinthians 15:58, “Thus, my beloved brothers, you must continually be steadfast, immovable, abounding in the work of the Lord always, since you have known that your labor is not without result in the Lord.”
What are the Character load-bearing building blocks that you need to develop? What will you need to do differently in order to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way?
My prayer is to offer some ideas about what God is saying regarding our character development which effects everything: who we are and how we influence others. Will you be accountable to do the work? Please let me know and I will coach you through it.
Many blessings to each of you who take the time to hear but thanks be to God for those who will not just be a hearer but also a doer of the Word.
Until next time,