Tag: Character (home)

To enjoy the things we ought and hate the things we ought has the greatest bearing on excellence of character.

permalink source: Aristotle, Metaphysics
tags: Character

Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.

permalink source: Henri Louis Bergson
tags: Character, Wisdom

Don't confuse fame with success. Madonna is one, and Helen Keller is the other.

permalink source: Erma Bombeck
tags: Character, Success

In adultery, there is usually tenderness and self-sacrifice; in murder, courage; in profanation and blasphemy, a certain satanic splendor. Judas elected those offenses unvisited by any virtues: abuse of confidence and informing.

permalink source: J.L. Borges, Three Versions of Judas
tags: Character, Depravity, Sinfulness

The church is looking for better programs; God is looking for better men.

permalink source: E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer
tags: Character, Church

[Sir Stafford Cripps] has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.

permalink source: Winston Churchill
tags: Character, Sinfulness

I think vital religion has always suffered when orthodoxy is more regarded than virtue. The scriptures assure me that at the last day we shall not be examined on what we thought but what we did.

permalink source: Benjamin Franklin [letter to his father, 1738]
tags: Character, Discipleship

Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger people. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be a miracle. Every day you shall wonder at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.

permalink source: Philips Brooks
tags: Character, Commitment, Prayer, Grace

At the thought of God my heart leaps for joy and I cannot help my music doing the same.

permalink source: Haydn
tags: Character, Authenticity

Cowardice asks the question: Is it safe? Consensus asks the question: Is it popular? Conscience asks: Is it right?

permalink source: Martin Luther King, Jr.
tags: Character, Courage, Integrity

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

permalink source: Martin Luther King, Jr.
tags: Character, Courage

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

permalink source: Abraham Lincoln
tags: Character, Leadership, Power

Character is what God and the angels know of us; reputation is what men and women think of us.

permalink source: Horace Mann
tags: Character

One day a professor was giving a big test to his students. He handed out all of the tests and went back to his desk to wait. Once the test was over, the students all handed the tests back in. The professor noticed that one of the students had attached a $100 bill to his test with a note saying "A dollar per point." The next class the professor handed the tests back out. The student got his test back with $64 change.

permalink source: Unknown
tags: Character, Grades, Humor, School, College

Prosperity tries the fortunate: adversity the great.

permalink source: Pliny the Younger
tags: Character, Problems, Success

A woman is like a teabag -- you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.

permalink source: Nancy Reagan
tags: Character, Problems

The fruit of the Spirit must be cultivated, all that grows naturally is weeds.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Theology

As Christians, our reward is not what we get, it is who we become.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character

Human cardiac catheterization was introduced by Werner Forssman in 1929. Ignoring his department chief, and tying his assistant to an operating table to prevent his interference, he placed a uretheral catheter into a vein in his arm, advanced it to the right atrium [of his heart], and walked upstairs to the x-ray department where he took the confirmatory x-ray film. In 1956, Dr. Forssman was awarded the Nobel Prize.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Courage, Faith

The leader is the example, not the exception.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Leadership

Let's Imagine - It's time to elect a world leader, and your vote counts. Here's the scoop on three leading candidates. Candidate A: + Associates with ward healers and consults with astrologists. + He's had two mistresses. + He chain smokes and drinks 8 to 10 martinis a day. Candidate B: + Was kicked out of office twice. + Sleeps until noon. + Used opium in college. + Drinks a quart of brandy every evening. Candidate C: + Is a decorated war hero. + He's a vegetarian + Doesn't smoke, + Drinks an occasional beer + Hasn't had any illicit affairs. Which of these candidates is your choice? You don't really need any more information, do you? Candidate A is Franklin D. Roosevelt Candidate B is Winston Churchill Candidate C is Adolph Hitler

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Leadership, Perception

Never was Rome in more danger from the church than when Christians refused military service. When the Empire was threatened on three borders at once, the pacifism of the church threatened the Roman way of life. Roman officials saw clearly that a vast organization with many conscientious objectors, and opposed to Roman ideals, could not be tolerated in a time of war. Thus, Christians were purged from the army in the early fourth century. In 320, near the end of the Great Persecution, the emperor Licinius ordered all Christians to renounce their faith on pain of death. Forty soldiers of the Twelfth Legion, stationed at Sebaste in Armenia, refused. On March 9 they were stripped naked, forced out onto a frozen lake, and left to die from exposure. Fires were built on the bank, and warm baths were prepared for anyone who would recant. Only one gave in. Yet when he did, another soldier, moved by the example of the suffering Christians, declared himself a Christian and took the apostate's place. Within 24 hours, most of the 40 were dead and the survivors were put to death. All were made famous by Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nyssa Source: Persecution in the Early Church: Christian History, Issue 27.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Courage, Evangelism

There is a difference between virtue and innocence. Virtue has successfully passed a point of temptation. No one is a mature Christian until they have attained virtue--innocence is not enough. [my note] That's why so many home-schooled kids and Christian-school kids bail later in life. They possessed innocence, not virtue. They were never trained to persevere until virtue--they were expected to maintain their innocence.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character

Temptations and occasions put nothing into a man, but only draw out what was in him before.

permalink source: John Owen (1616-1683)
tags: Character, Temptation

"Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way...you become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions."

permalink source: Aristotle, Greek philosopher and scientist
tags: Character, Discipline

Teach me. O God, to use all the circumstances of my life to-day that they may bring forth in me the fruits of holiness rather than the fruits of sin. Let me use disappointment as material for patience: Let me use success as material for thankfulness: Let me use suspence as material for perseverance: Let me use danger as material for courage: Let me use reproach as material for longsuffering: Let me use praise as material for humility: Let me use pleasures as material for temperance: Let me use pains as material for endurance.

permalink source: John Baillie, A Diary of Private Prayer [1949]
tags: Character, Prayer

"As you fly over the North Atlantic Ocean you will see awesome icebergs floating in those cold and icy waters. If you look carefully, you will see a pattern develop: small icebergs move in one direction and gigantic icebergs move in another. The surface winds drive the small icebergs while the huge ones are controlled by the deep ocean currents."

permalink source: Gary McIntosh and Glen Martin, "Finding Them, Keeping Them" 1992 p105
tags: Character, Destiny

A little boy was standing near a display of all kinds of candy at a corner store. "Now then, my lad," said the grocer as he approached the lad. "What are you up to?" "Nothing," replied the boy. "Nothing? Well it looks to me as if you were trying to take some of that candy." "You’re wrong, mister. I’m trying not to."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Temptation, Morality

Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character and reap a destiny.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Discipline, Habit

Three tests for great character: 1) The capacity for great love 2) The capacity for great enthusiasm 3) The capacity for great indignation

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Morality

English explorer George Mallory dreamed of conquering Mount Everest. He organized an expedition, but it failed. A second attempt also failed. A third expedition, launched after the most extensive preparation possible, was most tragic of all. An avalanche killed Mallory and most of his team. Back in England, friends invited the survivors to a banquet honoring Mallory and his valiant group. At its close, a surviving team member stood and looked around the room at photos of Mallory and his slain comrades. Then, in tears, he turned to face a huge picture of Mount Everest behind the banquet table. "Mount Everest," he said, "you defeated us once, you defeated us twice, you defeated us three times. But we shall someday defeat you, because you can't get any bigger, and we can!"

permalink source: Citation: Mark Sutton, "God's Man," as seen in Men of Integrity (Sep/Oct 2002)
tags: Character, Persistence, Change, Spiritual Formation

A few years ago, Chuck Colson was standing in a long line in the airport in Jakarta, Indonesia. He and some Prison Fellowship colleagues had been traveling all night. It was now early morning. The terminal was hot and steamy, and they were tired. As Chuck relates in his new book, Being the Body, "Passport in my sticky hand, I was exhausted and exasperated at the long, inefficient line snaking ahead of us. I was worried we would miss our next flight and the ministry friends who were waiting for us." But, Chuck adds, "I was also determined not to let my frustration get the better of me. I talked with my friends; we laughed and made the best of the situation." Two years later, he received a letter from a businessman who lived in Singapore. The man had been a follower of Confucius, but he sent his children to Sunday school at a Presbyterian church for moral training. One Sunday, as he picked up his kids, he heard the end of the sermon. A visiting missionary held up a copy of Chuck's first book, Born Again. On the cover was a picture of Chuck. A few months later, this businessman was stuck in a long line in the steaming Jakarta airport. Glancing over into the next line, he spotted the same face he'd seen on the cover of Born Again. He was so impressed by Chuck Colson's calm demeanor and cheerfulness that when he got back to Singapore, he got the book, read it, and committed his life to Christ.

permalink source: Chuck Colson
tags: Character, Evangelism, Virtue

When character and circumstance collide, which will prevail?

permalink source: Glen (inspired by some phrasing of Gary McCord, the golf commentator)
tags: Character, Temptation

If we get the tree right, then the fruit will be right. Focus on building your character above all else.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Skill

The great wall of China was built to keep out invading armies. It was huge! In fact, it's one of the seven wonders of the world. The Chinese were successfully invaded three times in the first 100 years of the wall's existence. In none of those instances did the enemy climb the wall, dig under it, or knock a hole in it. Each time they bribed the guards. True strength must flow from within.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Discipline

Michelangelo was said to have taken forever to select the marble he would use in his sculpture of David. A friend asked why he was taking so long, and he replied that the material he used would determine so much about the final product that he needed to make the right choice. God selects leaders the same way--based on what they're made of.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Leadership

In L.A., there are neighborhoods where it is more dangerous to be a plainclothes officer than a uniformed officer. Being yourself pays off!

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Assumptions

Not only the humor we make, but also the humor that amuses us, is important. A man may refrain from making fun of someone in the other’s presence, but will let loose his mockery in private to his wife or close friend. True, he will not create the havoc which would have been the case had he released his sarcasm in public. Nevertheless, what we laugh at, even in solitude, is significant. The German author Goethe said, “By nothing do men show their character more than by the things they laugh at.” The author of Ecclesiasticus put it this way, “A man’s grinning laughter shows the kind of man he is.” Another has put it, “What we laugh at is a window to our minds. Our jokes reveal our inner nature better than our set speeches. If you are amused by an off-color story, it points up the impurity of your heart. If you laugh at another’s serious accident, it shows cruelty deep within. If you overly indulge in caustic wit, it may indicate envy of the person against which your barbs are directed, and even beyond that, basic insecurity. If you are extremely addicted to punning, a dyed-in-the-wool punster, your constant conflicting play on words may result from your own conflicting feelings within. If you make light of holy subjects, it reveals profanity inside. Perhaps the words of Jesus could be paraphrased, admittedly giving only a partial explanation of the text, “By thy humor shalt thou he justified, and by thy humor shalt thou be condemned” (Matthew 12:37). If only one person in the world on only one occasion was guilty of just one bit of offside humor, he would still need the blood of Jesus Christ for cleansing. The choice of entertainment via radio, TV and literature, on the part of many, falls short of Christian grace, even short of the standard of enlightened nature. To avoid this blemish of personal piety we need to know when to laugh and when not to. Humor leaps outside its legitimate sphere when it trespasses on the suggestive, the sarcastic, the silly and the sacrilegious.

permalink source: Serve Him With Mirth
tags: Character, Humor, Entertainment

World War II produced many heroes. One was Butch O'Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific. One day while on a mission, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. Unable to complete his mission, he turned around and headed back for the aircraft carrier. As he headed back, he saw a squadron of Japanese Zeroes heading straight for the American fleet. All the American fighters were out on a sortie, leaving the fleet virtually defenseless. He dove into the formation of Japanese planes in a desperate move to divert them away from the fleet. After a frightening air battle, the Japanese airplanes broke off their assault on the fleet. Butch O'Hare's tattered fighter limped back to the carrier. He was recognized as a hero and given one of the nation's highest military honors. O'Hare International Airport in Chicago is named after him. Some years earlier, there was a man in Chicago called Easy Eddie. In those days, Al Capone virtually owned the city. Capone's mob was involved in bootlegging booze, murder, and prostitution. Easy Eddie was Al Capone's lawyer and kept Big Al out of jail. In return, Easy Eddie earned big money and lived like a king on an estate so large it filled an entire city block. But Easy Eddie had one soft spot—a son whom he loved dearly. Eddie saw that his son had the best of everything: clothes, cars, and a good education. Despite Eddie's involvement with the mob, he tried to teach his son right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was. But there were two things Eddie could not give his son—a good name and a good example. Deciding that giving his son these two things was more important than lavishing him with riches, Eddie had to rectify the wrong he had done. He went to the authorities and told them the truth about Al Capone. Easy Eddie eventually testified in court against Al Capone and the mob. He knew the cost would be great, but he wanted to be an example to his son and leave him with a good name. Within a year of testifying against the Mob, Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago street. He had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer at the greatest price he would ever pay. What do these stories have to do with one another? Butch O'Hare was Easy Eddie's son. Citation: Bruce Cecil, Coachella, California

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Integrity, Children, Parents

If you wish to see what a man is, place him in authority.

permalink source: Yugoslav Proverb
tags: Character, Leadership

Do not consider anything for your interest which makes you break your word, quit your modesty, or inclines you to any practice which will not bear the light or look the world in the face.

permalink source: Marcus Aurelius
tags: Character, Success

How can we expect a harvest of thought who have not had a seedtime of character?

permalink source: Henry David Thoreau
tags: Character, Learning

Self-esteem is the reputation we acquire with ourselves.

permalink source: Nathaniel Branden
tags: Character, Spiritual Formation, Self-esteem

Character is a by-product; it is produced in the great manufacture of daily duty.

permalink source: Woodrow Wilson
tags: Character, Spiritual Formation

Everybody ought to do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice.

permalink source: William James
tags: Character, Discipline

Quality of character doesn’t make a leader, but the lack of it flaws the entire process.

permalink source: Peter Drucker
tags: Character, Leadership

In the depth of winter I finally learned there was in me invincible summer.

permalink source: Albert Camus
tags: Character, Optimism

Only a small crack… but cracks make caves collapse.

permalink source: Alexander Solzhenitsyn
tags: Character

What you do when you don’t have to, determines what you will be when you can no longer help it." -- Rudyard Kipling

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Habit

Man transforms himself into the things he loves. When the time arrives for his sun to set, he has become that which, during the course of his life, he has, consciously or unconsciously, chosen to be."

permalink source: Alexis Carrel
tags: Character, Destiny, Habit, Heaven, Hell

You cannot run away from a weakness; you must sometime fight it out or perish. And if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?" -- Robert Louis Stevenson

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Personal Growth, Spiritual Formation

Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundations. -- Augustine

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Humility, Ambition

"...Ultimately we must heed the advice of Henry James. When asked by his nephew what he ought to do in life, James replied, "Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind." The key to those words is the hortatory verb--the insistence that one find an existence that enables one to be kind. How to do so? By wading in, over and over, with that purpose in mind, with a willingness to sail on, tacking and tacking again, helped by those we aim to help, guided by our moral yearnings on behalf of others, on behalf of ourselves with others: a commitment to others that won’t avoid squalls and periods of drift, a commitment that will become the heart of the journey itself." -- Robert Coles, Time, 1/20/97(The Moral Intelligence of Children)

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Compassion, Kindness

Fortune does not change men; it unmasks them. – Suzanne Necker, 1739-1794

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Money

It’s tough being a politician. Half your reputation is ruined by lies. The other half if ruined by the truth. -- Joe Hickman

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Politics, Gossip

Whatever we learn to do, we learn by actually doing it; men come to be builders, for instance, by building, and harp players by playing the harp. In the same way, by doing just acts, we come to be just; by doing self-controlled acts, we come to be self-controlled; and by doing brave acts, we become brave. -- Aristotle

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Habit, Practice, Personal Growth, Spiritual Formation

Reputation is character minus what you’ve been caught doing.

permalink source: Michael Iapoce
tags: Character, Chance, Gossip

He that respects himself is safe from others; he wears a coat of mail that none can pierce.

permalink source: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
tags: Character, Conscience, Self-awareness

Characters do not change. Opinions alter, but characters are only developed.

permalink source: Benjamin Disraeli
tags: Character, Spiritual Formation