Bible Passage

Some say, "Don't worry about Paul. His letters are demanding and forceful, but in person he is weak, and his speeches are really bad!" … I may not be a trained speaker, but I know what I am talking about. I think you realize this by now, for we have proved it again and again.

2 Corinthians 10:10; 11:6

Recently I heard a missionary speaker, a woman who had served in the jungles of an equatorial country for almost forty years. She had a dowdy appearance; her hairdo was a little out of fashion, and she was not a particularly polished speaker. She shuffled her notes a few times and looked for a couple of quotes she'd lost in her notebook. She spoke quietly and humbly.

But I was invigorated and challenged. She told stories of how she and her husband took their small children into jungles where malaria was running rampant, where rivers were infested with crocodiles, where the monsoon rains came down, and where their tiny grass hut, up on twenty-foot pilings of bamboo, was shaking in the wind. The natives they were trying to reach were cannibals who practiced headhunting.

The fact that she wasn't a polished speaker made her stories, testimonies, and insights from God's Word all the more brilliant. They shined with a kind of unpolished glory. Her speaking was so un-man-made, so divine.

Unfortunately, not everyone in the audience was so impressed. It made me wonder, can we not rely on the Word of God or the Spirit of God to enable us to look at somebody through the light of his grace and see character, perseverance, self-control, self-discipline, a desire to obey?

—Joni Eareckson Tada

How have I focused on my character development in recent years?

Lord, help me desire character more than charisma, a sound soul more than an impressive appearance.

Common-looking people are the best in the world; that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them."

—Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States

Copyright Tyndale House Publishers. Used by permission.

Go Deeper

Character of a Leader

This theme begins with the riveting interview on integrity with Chuck Swindoll, veteran pastor and seminary president. Also, find a devotional from Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, as he discusses the dangers of "spiritual vitality."