Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 12: What Kind of Character are You?

Brothers, on an ordinary day, revealing their character.
“Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.”    ~Zech. 4:10 
     I’ve been in school for most of my life, as a student and as a teacher.  I’ve seen the Dick and Jane McGuffey Readers, the nightmare of ITA in the 60’s, whole-language, phonics, No Child Left Behind, Reading First and balanced literacy, and now Common Core with literacy blocks and differentiation.
      During the literacy blocks, our children are frequently asked to complete graphic organizers like this one.  (This is a link to This Reading Mama which is a wonderful resource for homeschoolers and teachers.  She offers free printables.)  The students need to list the character, recount the setting - which is where everything takes place, state the problem, and finally explain how the problem was resolved.
     I was working with a group of fifth graders this week discussing character.  Character is not simply writing the name of the person in the correct spot on the graphic organizer. The word character is also used to describe a persons traits, attributes and abilities. The famous character, Dumbledore in the Harry Potter Series said, “It is not our abilities that show what we truly are.  It is our choices.”  The character of a books’ character is revealed through their actions and words over time.
      My character and yours is revealed in the same way.  Our life and character are not usually defined by great heroics, but rather by the ordinary decisions we make as we go through our ordinary day.  Our smallest actions, our choices, our attitude, tell the story of our life.
     In John 10:25, Jesus answered the religious leaders of His day,  “I told you, but you don’t believe. Everything I have done has been authorized by my Father, actions that speak louder than words.”  (The Message)
     Jesus said, what I say and what I do, reveal who I am.
     As we seek to clothe ourselves in the character of Christ, our daily actions, no matter how small, should serve to validate what our heart values.  Our actions may be baking cookies for fellowship after church, planning a children’s service, honoring our parents, or washing the dishes at the kitchen sink.  God can do a lot with a little and multiply our faithful actions for His kingdom.      
     And if our actions have been less than they ought, take comfort in this.
     Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.   ~Carl Bard
     What do our choices tell others about our character?
     This post is Day 12 in the 31 Day Series: Welcome to My Mess.  You can read the other posts here.

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