Character Comment – Therefore by their fruits you will know them, Part 2

Therefore by their fruits you will know them. – Part 2  

Matthew 7:20

 “We care, most of all, what kind of person a [student] is.” – F. Washington Jarvis

“Every day you are becoming who you will be forever.” – John Luhmann

“You may fill your heads with knowledge or skillfully train your hands, but unless it is based upon high, upright character, upon a true heart, it will amount to nothing.” – Booker T. Washington

These are quotes from last week’s Character Comment that ought to resonate in the heart and mind of a Character Advocate, motivating our TEAM2work effort to teach, encourage, advocate, and model/mentor Christian character. As we saw last week from C.S. Lewis, “The apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English evangelicals who abolished the slave trade, all left their mark on earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with heaven,” and were so guided by it in thought and action. Do you want to know what the mirror of your character is? It is the impressions you leave behind by your actions and reactions to the circumstances of life. And the root of those actions is in our thoughts: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7).

The term character comes from an ancient Greek engraving tool used to inscribe metal, stone, or clay tablets, thus to “leave a mark.” In time, the word came to designate any mark made by that instrument; thus letters (A, B, C, etc.) came to be known as characters. One result was that medieval courts branded a convicted murderer with the character M and sentenced him to penal servitude instead of the gallows; an arsonist’s forehead or shoulder was branded with the character A. As such, the term character has become known as the identifier, the sum total of a person’s moral qualities, his or her character as seen and known by all!

It has been said that if you want to know a person’s thoughts, the depth and breadth will be mirrored in their words, both written and spoken. Our actions and reactions – how we respond to the events that surround us – are the mirror that reflects our character. As I often tell the students, it is not our successes or failures that define who we are and who we are becoming, but how we respond to those successes and failures.

…to be continued.

-Joe LoGiudice, Principal