The importance of character is seen throughout the Bible and in our society. Character is who we are, not what we pretend to be or what people may think we are. While we may desire others to see us in a certain way, we will never fool the Lord. 1 Samuel 16:7 The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
Why didn’t God create humankind with perfect character? God could have created humanity with perfect character by not allowing us to make independent decisions. In God’s infinite wisdom, the Lord created people with free will, not as programmed robots. With free will, the Lord allows us to know and love Him and be led by the Holy Spirit. The Lord desires all of us to be people of character, but some choose to drift away from Him. In God’s mercy, He never tires of calling people back to himself, no matter how far they have wandered away.
Church Leaders Must be People of Character
Due to church leaders’ influence on other people, the Lord sets the bar higher for their character. Paul writes to Timothy the general guidelines for church leaders that still apply today. 1 Timothy 3:2 So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife and must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. 3 He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. 4 He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. 5 For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church? 
The Lord Takes Leadership Seriously
A person may be a gifted teacher, but that does not mean they are mature spiritually and should be leading in the house of God. Those the Lord calls to be leaders in the church need to be spiritually mature and tested, which takes time. Paul shared with Timothy a picture of a leader walking with the Lord. Although Paul’s list may not be complete, it portrays a person called to a higher standard and led by the Holy Spirit.
Leaders are on a spiritual journey. They are molded by the master potter filling them with God’s grace, strength, wisdom, and fruits of the Spirit to lead God’s people. Paul says that although we are as fragile as eggshells, we have a great treasure to share with others. 2 Corinthians 4:7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 
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