“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” -Helen Keller
There are numerous important elements of good character, such as how an individual acts when no one is watching, or how a person responds to the defeat of their favorite football team. Though these are suitable examples, a very imperative test of one’s character is how they react when they or someone they love is treated poorly.
Joseph went through a whole lot during his life. He was betrayed by his own blood, and thrown into a pit. He was sold, taken into captivity, and soon betrayed again, for which he was thrown into prison. This man had every earthly right to be ticked off, yet he still trusted his savior.
Later in the story, we read that Pharaoh put Joseph through the wringer. It would have been easy for him to behave or react poorly in response to it. Sure, Joseph was later rewarded, but can you imagine what would have happened if he decided to be bitter and angry during his prison sentence instead of faithfully following God?
Even in the midst of adversity, he chose to not only trust God but also diligently and wilfully serve Him. His character spoke for itself and it made all the difference. Pharoah experienced the Holy Spirit through Joseph’s actions and it eventually led to the greater good.
Just like you visit the doctor for a checkup to ensure everything is running the way it should be, it is important to do frequent inventory of our souls and character. Is there anything that should not be there? Any behaviors, actions, reactions, or thoughts that do not belong? Take some time to truly assess where you are and how you act. It is important for you and those around you as well. A good place to start if you need some Godly guidance is with the fruits of the spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
Even when you are in the midst of what feels like a prison sentence, keep your focus on God and let your character exhibit His Holy Spirit. The way you carry yourself in seasons of hardship speaks louder than any season of triumph will. Even when others speak poorly of you, stand firm in who you are in God and let Him vindicate you and fight your battles. Keep doing the right thing, even when people treat you wrong. Allow God to be seen through you, and you could help change how a person sees God.
Rachel is a lover of travel, nachos, and the gospel. She is a graduate of Urshan College and will most likely always call it Gateway. She recently graduated with her master’s degree in counseling and human services and is currently serving at The Pentecostals of Cooper City in South Florida.