Character Sermon Illustrations

Character Sermon Illustrations

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The Greek word from which our word "character" originated signified a sharp-pointed instrument or graving tool. Much of this first meaning is implied in the word as we use it, for is not character the means by which each of us makes his impression on the world? To be sure, the instrument itself is not a finished product, is a mere tool; but, like many a fine instrument, character improves with use. Our actions and reactions temper the blade, and make the edge powerful or impotent. Each must forge his own character, each must be responsible for keeping it in condition, each must be responsible for its results.—Selected.

Sickle, Harvester, and Ruth

The Bible, along with history, teaches us that man's natural inclination is downward. Science, on the other hand, has been reluctant to believe that its task was not to lift a rising race but a fallen one. Now comes Dr. Alexis Carrell, noted as a surgeon and author, and declares that physicians are "keenly disappointed in observing that their efforts have resulted in a larger number of healthy defectives, healthy lunatics, healthy criminals; and there is no progress of man." Science has greatly improved living and working conditions, and it is a long step from the sickle Ruth wielded in Boaz' field to the modern harvester. "But," pointedly inquires Dr. Homer McMillan, in "Other Men Labor," "have we improved upon Ruth?" Courtesy Moody Monthly.

Real Beauty

A Quaker lady was once asked the secret of her beautiful complexion. She said, "I use truth for my lips; for my voice, prayer; for my eyes, pity; for my hands, charity; for my figure, uprightness; and for my heart, love."—Reginald Wallis.

"Build it well, whate'er you do;
Build it straight and strong and true;
Build it clear and high and broad;
Build it for the eye of God."Charles Daniel Brodhead.

Honesty Is No Policy, But A Principle

A slave boy, on the auctioneer's block, was approached by a kind-hearted man who asked him: "If I buy you and take you to a beautiful home, will you be honest and truthful?" The black boy answered: "Sir, I will be honest and truthful whether you buy me or not."Selected.

Caste or Character

A high caste Indian gentleman interested in Lucknow Christian College, in India, brought his son to this school for education. He was reminded of the fact that the boy would lose caste if he came there and studied the Bible with the other students. The father, an example of the new India, promptly gave this courageous reply: "I would rather have my son lose caste and save his character, than have him save his caste and lose his character."—New Century Leader.

Don't envy the lucky fellow whose path is smoothed for him. Pity him. Some day he will seek your favor. Success is the product of character. The development of your character is in your own hands, and poverty plus honest ambition is the best environment for character-building.—Du Pont Magazine

The measure of a man's real character is what he would do, if he knew he would never be found out.—Macaulay

I was interested to hear a major exec point out that the criteria he uses for selecting employees run in this order: character, intelligence, experience. "A really bright exec picks up experience very quickly," he told me. "But the man we need and want most, in important places, is a man with character sufficient to resist many kinds of pressures when the going gets rough. We find, then, that character is the most important ingredient of all, particularly if the man is to be responsible for policy making. An exec can buy brains and can buy experience, but character is something he must supply himself."—Fortune

Be genuine and sincere; remember the words of the little rhyme: "Don't be veneer stuck on with glue, be solid mahogany all the way through."—Briefs

When it comes to judging men, either for employment or for advancement, most execs have their own list of favorable or danger signals to watch for. These are outside the traits personnel experts measure and approve. We overheard one: "I'll tell you one thing I've discovered, and sad experience over the years has proved it: never trust a man who can dish out punishment—but not take it. These fellows are often very bright, and very likeable when the going is smooth and easy. But in a pinch, when pressure is on—look out. They'll turn on you every time."—Management Briefs

Nature seems to treat man as a painter would his disciple, to whom he commits the outlines of a figure lightly sketched, which the scholar for himself is to color and complete. Thus from nature we derive senses and emotions, and an intellect which (with God's help) each of us for himself has to model into a character.—Harris

They were trying an Irishman, charged with a petty offense, in an Oklahoma town, when the judge asked: "Have you any one in court who will vouch for your good character?"

"Yis, your honor," quickly responded the Celt, "there's the sheriff there."

Whereupon the sheriff evinced signs of great amazement.

"Why, your honor," declared he, "I don't even know the man."

"Observe, your honor," said the Irishman, triumphantly, "observe that I've lived in the country for over twelve years an' the sheriff doesn't know me yit! Ain't that a character for ye?"

We must have a weak spot or two in a character before we can love it much. People that do not laugh or cry, or take more of anything than is good for them, or use anything but dictionary-words, are admirable subjects for biographies. But we don't care most for those flat pattern flowers that press best in the herbarium.—O.W. Holmes.

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