I was preparing to preach about the birth of John the Baptist and I was reminded of another birth announcement in the Bible.
Although the announcements were similar, the subsequent lives definitely were not.
The similarities in their announcements (Judges 13 and Luke 1)
Both mothers were barren before the announcement.
Both had the good news announced by an angel.
Both babies had God’s calling on their life for a specific purpose before they were conceived.
Both babies were greatly influenced all their life by the Spirit of God.
But that is where the similarities end.
The differences in their lives
One ended his life blinded because of sin and the sport of his enemies. The other had his life ended by his enemies for his stand for God.
One had his life controlled by the flesh, the other cared little for the things of the flesh.
One had his life wrecked by women, the other was called the greatest born of women.
In case you have not figured out yet who the other man is, His name was Samson.
So what made the difference between these two men, John the Baptist and Samson? I believe it to be the same thing that makes such a difference in the lives of men and women today.
Character is different from personality. It not the same as preferences. Is not determined by the giving of or the withholding of privileges. So what is character?
The word character comes from the Greek, kharakter, meaning “engraved mark,” Thus true character is not something that can be painted on, nor easily removed.
It also has in roots in the Greek word that means “to engrave” referring to the tool to scrape or scratch. So we learn also that real character is not born in us, but rather chiseled into us.
So in summary, our character is what we sculpt onto ourselves. In turn, character then describes, identifies, and controls who we are and what we do. So is character our master or slave? If find it both.
Watch for future posts describing the importance of character and how we can develop it in ourselves and how we can help develop character in others.
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