Character and Honor are hard concepts to differentiate. When we “honor” someone we are commending them for a difficult accomplishment, rewarding them for going above and beyond the call of duty, or simply pointing out their better attributes. Honor is something that is commendable; it is a status or a high level of being. Therefore, when someone makes a promise on their honor, they are really using their high level or status of character as collateral. Honorable character then, is when there is a maximum level of trust, faith, or investment in one’s person or words. In a sense, one reason why we can have perfect faith in God, is because God has perfect honor or perfectly honorable character.
The catch with character, is that it has to be built in order to be honorable. One cannot say one is honorable to make one honorable; one must act or do in order to become such. There are seven foundations to honorable character and the strengthening of each or any one of these foundations qualities or traits directly strengthens or builds honorable character.
Integrity is the first pillar of honorable character. Integrity can simply be defined as “doing what one believes or has committed to doing even when no one is watching.” This means that no matter the temptation, or availability of a dishonorable thing, those with integrity will not indulge. Integrity then, is offspring to honesty. Honesty is the total and absolute use of truth, truth about the past, truth about what is currently happening and the truth about future intentions. Without integrity, honesty cannot exist. If one does not have integrity, one will not have the incentive to be honest on a regular basis. Honesty is easier as well as one does things that do not cause a loss of character or honor.
Those with addictions are naturally liars and often will feed the addiction over all else including close relationships. Addictions often come above all else and will dictate life to those with the addiction. Addictions make the addict a slave. Promises made while intoxicated are not to be expected to be honored, nor can promises be honored under intoxication.
One of the most base instincts on this planet is that of reproduction. This carnality is an enemy of self control and divinity. When we are chaste, abstinence before marriage and fidelity in it, we conquer one of the most powerful animalistic instincts a human can deal with. This self control can empower any individual to do great things that others tied down to these impulses and instincts cannot. A chaste person is a trustworthy person who will not try and steal others precious relationships from them, who will be capable of raising mighty posterity, who will have light in their eyes and wisdom beyond any rival or individual unable to control or elevate their body above their instincts.
Humility is more than the absence of pride, it is the ability to recognize one’s own limitations. Without humility, anger, frustration, over-promising and under delivering is prevalent. A humble person is a person able to progress and overcome mistakes, limitations, faults, or even crimes against man or God. They are ever seeking to become greater in the acknowledgment that they are not great on their own. Humility is a slippery possession as once it is acknowledged, it is not longer there. One must continually strive for self awareness and to listen to the council of others in order to gain in humility. A humble person is a person able to ask for forgiveness, is able to ask for help, and is a person who is slow to incite opposition through rash actions or words.
A Charitable person is a person who understands their blessings, who is grateful for what they have and is someone filled with the love that Jesus has for others leading them to a highly empathetic, sympathetic, service oriented feelings and desires. They are the ones to give the beggar their new sunglasses, the freezing woman their coat, the hungry person their food. They seek to lift the world through love and service
Commitment is the key part of loyalty. Loyal to commitments, people, places, etc. A person of little character is always moving to the winning team, the more popular person, the obvious choice. A charactered person is loyal to their cause, family, religion, God, covenants, promises, and themselves. Loyalty is not instantly believing all and every gossip that comes around and not kicking someone when they are down but instead helping out those you are close to in their times of great need of support.
Doing ones duty grudgingly acts against the duty in the first place. One might as well not be honorable if it makes them a miserable wretch. Being happy is an important part of honor. The absence of cheer often indicates one of the other pillars being out of balance. One of the foremost tenants of CHEER is TOUGHNESS. Being tough is not the absence of pain or discomfort, it is with the understanding that the ailment and situation is all part of the process and is a sheer determination to remain upbeat even under the most difficult of circumstances. Times may call for a charactered person to be somber and sober, yet hardly ever does the time come when life is free from trouble that moodiness and polarized emotions allow for a successful person. Cheer can be faked, it can be worked for, it can be focused on, but all who seek after it eventually gain it or become it. Let honor be accompanied with a smile, and let us cheerfully endure our hardships.
Meekness is so much more than being “meek.” Being meek is an incredibly difficult thing. It takes an incredible amount of courage. Meekness is the conquering of fear through repeated acts of intense courage. It is the ability to forgive. Forgiveness comes with great terror that the same pain will come again yet it allows for previous pain to be released and allows for an individual to become void of anger, spite, guile, hostile, defensive, and vengeful feelings. A meek individual is not a push over. A meek individual understands that occasionally violence is the only answer and when violence is called for, they are extremely efficient in their violence, although it is committed with absolute horror and displeasure. The meek are the ones the savior declared would inherit the earth and this is because they will not fight each other but instead look for reasonable and win/win ways to solve problems, disputes, or dilemma’s. Temper is a form of intoxication and a meek individual does not have issues with emotional control.