Character or Competernce

By Not Known

A good friend of mine once shared with me that a true Christian is much like a good institution in that it has to have 2 primary ingredients: character and competence. A study of institutions that endured the test of time may confirm this assertion.

At the time when a commercial airliner crashed, killing everyone on board, there were reports that just prior to the disaster, the same mechanical problem had surfaced. The maintenance crew however, in a bit to save money, falsified their reports. This is an issue of character.

Arthur Schopenhauer wrote: “Men best show their character in trifles, where they are not on guard. It is in insignificant matters, and in the simplest habits, that we often see the boundless egotism which pays no reguard to the feelings of others, and denies nothing to itself.

So, character is that force that enables a person to carry out a decision made earlier once the circumstance in which that decision was born has passed. God’s idea of character is that character is the truth in our innermost parts. And we are to choose to guard our thoughts, our motives and our actions in not allowing ourselves a slightest chance of compromise.

On the other hand, competence is an attitude that says, “I’ll do my best no matter what!” The question is: Do people see you as a person of competence and excellence who knows that you are doing and giving it 100%?

John Gardner reminds us that “The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because it is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water

God has lofty idea of competence and excellence. When he has completed his work of creation, “he saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” God was proud of his craftsmanship; and he has high standards too.

William Foster has this to day about competence: “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillfull execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”

God has a personal hand in making us and when we chose to disobey him, he restore us. His goal is that we wants to see in us that same sense of character and competence that he is himself. 1 John is a fitting reminder to us of a God who desire is to craft our character and our competence: who we are and how we live.