Monday, January 4, 2021

Crises Reveal Our Character

By Joe Chesser
    What would you do if you were fired from your job and put in prison because your employer's wife told horrible lies about you?
     What would you do if you had run for your life because you helped defend a neighbor from an injustice?
     What would you do if you were offered something you greatly desired but knew was illegal and life-threatening to obtain?
     What would you do if suddenly you discovered that all that you had believed in the past was not true, and instead of serving God you were actually fighting Him?
     What would you do if you were offered a considerable amount of money to betray a friend?
     What would you do if you found out that the woman to whom you were engaged became pregnant before the wedding, and you knew it wasn’t your child?
     These are not hypothetical questions.  They really happened, and the answers to these questions reveal the type of character each person possessed at the time the crisis occurred.  You can probably identify each of the people in the above scenarios: Joseph (Jacob’s son), Moses, Eve, Paul, Judas, and Joseph (and Mary).  Some of them faced the crisis with faith and resolve, and withstood the challenge.  Others failed.  But what these examples teach us is that when crises occur, our character will be revealed.
     All of us have faced and will continue to face many challenges in our lives.  They may be strong temptations; they may be difficult choices; they may be heart-breaking health issues.  And many of our crises are not personally our own – they may involve our spouse, parents, children, family or friends.  Still, they are heavy burdens.
     As we reflect back on 2020, it’s easy to see that there were countless crises that shaped, molded and revealed our character. Not much we can do about them now except to determine that in 2021 we will learn from our mistakes and enhance our strengths.
     How we handle crises reveals who we really are.  It also reveals how we have prepared for the inevitable challenges.  We may not know exactly the kind of crises that may be coming in 2021, but they will come.  How we prepare today for them will determine how these crises affect us.  Roy Disney once said, “When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”  Our three basic optional responses to crises are: 1) Joseph was able to overcome the crisis with Potiphar’s wife because he had already established his values, even as a teenager; 2) Moses overcame a poor decision by developing spiritually while in the wilderness; 3) Judas allowed his crisis to destroy him.
     What will 2021 reveal about your character?
- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO.  He may be contacted at

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