The news has been filled recently with high profile athletes and their moral failings. It’s been hard to ignore the stories about Tiger Woods and the number of infidelities that he has had. In the NFL, Ben Roethlisberger was not charged in an investigation about whether or not he sexually assualted/raped a college student in a Georgia bar. The details that are coming out now that the investigation is over is very favorable for Ben- even though he wasn’t charged. Ben is waiting to hear from the Steelers and/or the NFL as to as suspension to start the season for his personal conduct in these matters.
In some ways, it seems as if these (and other) athletes/politicians/actors/etc can be somewhat bulletproof. This past weekend- Tiger Woods played at the Master’s and placed in the Top 10. All along with crowds following him and cheering him on. Woods lost some endorsements from the scandal, but give it time and he will likely regain them or get other endorsements from his play. Roethlisberger will suit up for Pittsburgh in the fall and many in the stadium will cheer him as he leads the Steeler offense.
These stories, and others like them, bring up the idea of character. Character speaks to the moral and ethical quality of a person…their reputation. It takes years to build a positive character and few minutes to bring it down. Our character, our reputation becomes our name- it becomes how we are known. This is what the Bible says about our name or our character.
- A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Proverbs 22:1
- A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth. Ecclesiastes 7:1
- You annointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out; therefore the virgins love you. Song of Solomon 1:3
Each of the three verses speaks of the value of a good name/reputation/character. It is more desirable than riches, better than fine perfume, like fragrant oils giving off a pleasing aroma.
Character matters. We each have a responsibility to care for and tend our reputation- to build our character in such a way that gives glory to God. The decisions we make can go a long way to building our character or tear it apart in a moment. Just think about it- While Tiger Woods could break the record for major titles in golf, he will be remembered for his infidilities. Ben Roethlisberger could win more Super Bowls, but his decisions will follow him around. Those who took steroids in baseball will always have an asterick by their name.
Because our character reflects the God that we serve- Character Matters!