Keeping a Firm Grip on our Character

A few days ago, I started reading 1 Timothy.  I’d like to share two verses which have jumped out at me:

“…keeping a firm grip on your faith and on yourself. After all, this is a fight we’re in. There are some, you know, who by relaxing their grip and thinking anything goes have made a thorough mess of their faith.” – 1 Timothy 1:19

Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don’t be diverted. Just keep at it.” – 1 Timothy 4:16

I don’t know about you, but I noticed a theme in these two verses.  Keep a firm grip on yourself.  Keep a firm grasp on your character.

I think most of us usually only keep a loose grip on our character. Yes we have rules and values.  But do we set up a forcefield around our character?  Or do we sometimes hide our character from others?

Character is often defined as “moral or ethical strength”.  I think that character has two components – private and public.

My sister gave me a coffee mug when I graduated from college. It reads, “Character is who you are when only God is watching.” Do we do the right thing when no else is around keeping score?

But there’s a public aspect too; it makes up part of our witness to others.  Back to 1 Timothy… the second half of verse 12 in chapter 4 says “Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity.”

When we fail to keep a firm grip on our character, it can easily slip away.  We can lose our credibility with others, but more importantly we can hurt our relationship with God.


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