Don’t Forget about Character

The Ambassador Model we promote here at Stand to Reason involves knowledge, wisdom, and character. We bookish types tend to get caught up in the knowledge part (“an accurate mind”), and if we’re interacting with non-believers, we’ll seek out wisdom (“an artful method”), but the character portion of the model sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. Jerry Root reminds us in the brief videos below that facing our sin and developing our character by focusing on the Gospel is as integral to being an ambassador of Christ as both knowledge and wisdom.

[S]kills are not the only thing that leadership requires. Leadership requires that there is maturation, developing character, in the life of the leader as well. Stephen Covey, in his book The Speed of Trust, says if a leader doesn’t have skill and character, they will not cultivate trust.

But sin isn’t the end of any leader’s story, as we see in the examples of so many biblical characters.

It was the honest awareness of their weakness of character that led them to the place where they were going to be pressed towards Christ…. And I think it’s this cultivation of maturity and character that comes from an honest assessment of self, matched with skill, that leads people to trust us as a leader. But the soul of a leader is a person who is developing in character and maturing in Christ.

I believe the soul of a leader can be restored in a fallen world by the constant awareness of our daily need for the Gospel. Jesus forgives us of our sins, and He loves us, and our need for that forgiveness and that love is constant….

Every new challenge will reveal to you some deficiency, and you don’t need to be afraid of that deficiency, but rooted and undergirded by the love of God and His forgiveness, you can take the risk. You can forge ahead courageously. You can assess your performance honestly. You can assess your people’s performance honestly. If they mess up, you can forgive them; you can nurture them like the love of God nurtures you. You’ll be a better leader because of it, and every new challenge gives you the chance to grow deeper in the love and grace of God. And that’s the way the leader is restored….

Along these lines, I’ve been reading Jared Wilson’s The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together, and I recommend it very highly. The Gospel—looking at Jesus and what He’s done, valuing Him and our obedience to Him more than our sin, and having an experiential knowledge of His grace—changes us in ways that mere attempts to conform ourselves to moral laws never will. 

blog post |
Amy K. Hall

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