If you think of a relationship as a cake, personality is
the icing, but character is the substance of the cake.
One of the most important principles of life is that we
live in a world of choices and consequences. We choose an
action and then we have to live with the consequences of
Some people go through their whole live and never learn
this lesson. There is always some other reason why things
happened to them - "if that policeman wasn't there, I
wouldn't have gotten charged for speeding". The real
story is that you chose to drive above the speed limit
and one of the consequences of that choice is that you
will have to pay up money if you get caught. Another
possible consequence is the higher risk of having an
accident because of the higher speed. I know a guy who
refused to wear his seat belt when it became law in
Australia. He had an accident on a wet road where his car
slid sideways into a power pole. This guy slid across the
seat and hit the door on the opposite side of the car and
broke his back. He became a paraplegic through the
accident and now has to go everywhere in a wheelchair. He
made a dumb choice and he has to live with the
consequences of that choice for the rest of his life.
Others will relate to you as a person they can trust if
you show maturity and accept that all your decisions and
actions carry consequences - good or bad! The idea is to
learn from your mistakes so you don't make a series of
dumb decisions and keep getting bad consequences.
In the big picture, where you spend eternity is decided
by your choice. Choose to accept Jesus into your life and
you will spend eternity in heaven. Reject Jesus and He
will reject you when you stand before Him after you leave
this earth. That's how simple it all is.
To suck you in to do something (evil). Also, to put
you to the test
Temptation will only destroy you if you
don't know how to handle it. When handled correctly, it
builds solid character within you. Therefore there is not
something wrong with you if you find you are being
tempted in some area, but each time you give in to it,
the more power it gets over you.
Temptation normally hits all of us in three distinct
areas at some time or other:
You need to set up a standard in your life to handle
these three areas at least. Will you grab some sex where
you can or will you set up the Bible standard for your
sex life? Will you set the goal of your life to gain
power or will you rest in the Bible promise that God
promotes into positions of power and authority? Will you
be honest with money as a life choice or will you change
your "honesty" depending on the circumstances?
It is character building to set up a standard and live to
it. When you are tempted, you have a reference point to
work from and reject the temptations that don't fall
within your standard.
How you respond to these temptations determines the way
your life will go - successful or destroyed. Set up your
Honor your Father and Mother
This is not always easy! Honoring doesn't mean you have
to feel great about your parents, or that you have to
feel love towards them necessarily, or that you agree
with everything they do and say.
It is a choice of your will to honor your parents. This
means you take the position something like this: "I don't
understand my parents and they make me really angry and
embarrassed sometimes, but I choose to respect these
people who brought me into this world, despite their
Parents have their own hassles and stuff they are still
dealing with from their own childhood. Most parents do
the best they can under their circumstances of trying to
still sort out their own lives and bringing up children
at the same time.
"Whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good
report, worthy of praise - think on these things"
Bible - Philipians 4:8
I hated my parents when I was a teenager. I didn't want
to be seen with them at all. When I look back on those
years now, I can't understand why I felt so strongly that
way towards them. They are really great people and I must
have caused a lot of hurt and pain to them.
Their 40th wedding anniversary celebration was coming up
and I was asked to give a speech because I am the only
male out of their three children. This really put the
pressure on me. Eventually I decided to apply this verse
from the Bible:
So that I didn't look a fool when I stood up to give my
speech I prepared ahead of time by trying to think of
good things about my parents. It didn't take much effort
at all and I found lots of good things about them! The
speech was a success. The relationship between us
improved from that point - not instantly - but it was a
crucial turning point. The change had to come from me and
my attitude! The relationship continued to improve as
time went on.
There is a Bible promise for you that comes into action
from choosing to honor your parents:
"Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long
upon the land.." Bible - Exodus 20:12
This one is hard to do for everybody at
some point in their lives. It is hard because if there is
a need for forgiveness, then it means that something
unjust has been done against you and you feel you have
every right to hate and seek revenge.
Here is the problem with unforgiveness - it destroys you!
When you indulge in an attitude of unforgiveness, it
feels like you will get even and feel better for it, but
the truth is that you will suffer more than the person
you are taking revenge on! "Two wrongs don't make the
situation right". Unforgiveness involves continuing
mental torment for you.
Forgiveness is an act of your will and you may have to
choose to do it every hour of every day until you get
over the situation. Forgiveness means giving up the right
you have to revenge what happened to you. This is not
only a Bible principle but most counselors agree on this
The Bible says this about forgiveness (no messing around
here - it means you probably won't go to heaven!):
"If you don't forgive others, then God won't forgive you
of your sins" Bible (summarized)