The Importance of Character

(audio sermon by Gary Sampson)

Good character is simply the nature of God, it is required in every relationship we have – be it a momentary meeting, longterm friendship, or lifelong marriage.

Speakers notes follow –

The Importance of Character

1 John 4.7-12, 16b

Partner – dating for marriage – look for 3 things – good character, right personality, looks – looks NB right? – Tell wife she’s interesting! – many have one, few two, three rare – I’ve dated godly but boring, interesting but unattractive, beautiful but bad

Looks + personality subjective – some like slim to thin, or rounded curvy – some like easy going, or fire – trouble but spicy! If both easy its boring! Both firey its conflict – opposites complement.

Friendship – just 2 things – good character, right personality – dont need looks – isnt sexual – platonic

Personality in friendship subjective – Some like intellectual, fun loving, ambitious, domesticated, fashion, sporty, political, nature/dog lover – I like intellectual, philosophic, big questions, debate, own mind – Boring: handyman, financial, cooking (cinnamon?), kids, dogs (bro)

– Personality subjective – but important in close friendship

All relationships – need 1 thingcharacter – in your business, church, sports team, political party – close + distant

Business – good character gets you the job most times – hard working, responsable, honest – above personality + looks – lazy beauty! Deceptive handsome doing books –

Girl overseeing five table restaurant – hard working – jobs will find you!

Parent/Child – father provider but abusive, child good academic but disrespectful

Spouse – charming but unfaithful – ambitious but temper

Friendship – Fun loving but gossiper – interesting stories but liar

– Character for all relationships – most important of three

Personality v Character – personality natural (born), character learnt  (aquired) – extravert or introvert, honest or dishonest

Printer operator – ambitious but dishonest – lost job – matter of time – unemployment found him – Employment found her!

Good character is God’s personality – ‘God is love’ (didn’t learn to love) – we loving if we take after him who is Love – ‘I am the truth’ (not I learned to be truthful) – we true if we take after The Truth

We don’t ask if God has personality – no other gods to compare – Good character is his personality – God is ultimate Love, Truth, Goodness

Atheism – problem with morality – why it exists – where from – they say culturally leant – but superficial cultural differences (4 wives) – all agree child abuse, rape, murder, theft is wrong – universal

Moral goodness for all only if morals beyond + above all humans – universal law – universal Legislator

Can’t tell someone its morally wrong if preference!

If atheist says shouldn’t rape – ask why not – because its wrong – why – hurts people – why’s that wrong – just is – says who – people – are people right – law says – is government right – their preference?

No objective morality without God – just subjective preference

With God can say you shouldn’t because God says so – ends all argument – be loving because God is love – his nature – will

Bad character? A perversion of God’s nature

Luststripping love of person respect, value – reducing to animal instinct – mere body function – sex meant to express value, respect, treasuring of soul, inner person – expresses oneness present without sex – one life, mind, covenant

Closeness to God – presence – bad company corrupts – those moments in morning – refueling at God station.

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