By Effie Rolfe
Character is core-of the person. It’s been said that your character can be defined by what you do when no one is watching. Whether the outcome is good, bad or indecisive is determined by our choices. Pastor Calvin Robinson, author of Letting Go—101 helped us dig deeper as he shared, “Character is a Greek word that means “engraving.” So character is the deeply ingrained attitudes, mindsets, and perspectives of the person. It is the writings upon the heart. The question is, “who is doing the writing?” For most of us we are being shaped by the systems of this world, and our own past experiences. Our judgments are written based upon our limited knowledge. But a closed system feeds only upon itself.”
I wanted to look into the heart of “character” after watching a recent interview of CNN anchor Victor Blackwell with a Trump surrogate. Unfortunately, the popular and well spoken Pastor Michael Burns was caught red handed falsifying military experience, education and other undocumented accomplishments on his bio. Burns first response to the accusations was to blame hackers for manipulating his church’s website or page. Later, Pastor Burns accused CNN anchor Blackwell for using the interview as a setup to attack his character before walking off the set in the middle of the interview at his church. The news source eventually released this follow up statement shared by the South Carolina Pastor: “As a young man starting my church in Greenville, South Carolina, I overstated several details of my biography because I was worried I wouldn’t be taken seriously as a new pastor. This was wrong, I wasn’t truthful then and I have to take full responsibility for my actions. Since that time I should have taken steps to correct any misrepresentations of my background. We all make mistakes, and I hope that the measure of my character and the quality of my works speak for what kind of person I am.” He continued with, “I do also want to set the record straight about why this attack is happening – because I am a Black man supporting Donald Trump for President…” – Pastor Mark Burns
Ironically, the good Rev. Burns felt comfortable lying about his bio during his transition into his new role as pastor. Is this the best way to begin ministry? I don’t think so. And, it doesn’t require deep spiritual insight to figure this one out. Back in the day, even the Temptations knew this type of behavior left you standing on ‘Shaky Ground.” Perhaps, maybe Mr. Burns was disillusioned by his very own illusions? I can only guess he lost track and was unable to recognize truth in the midst of his fabrications.
Pastor Calvin Robinson said, “When we were children our parents and significant others wrote on our hearts. Hopefully they wrote messages of love and hope, of peace and dignity. But we did some writing of our own and most of the writing we did was before we even had mature reasoning faculties. Thus much of what we wrote was inaccurate and we suffer from misconceptions and misunderstandings to this very day. We are easily frustrated when things don’t go our way and we don’t give our best because we are afraid of being rejected or dismissed. In these senses and many more, we have to concede that the stories we have rehearsed and written upon our hearts are stories of defeat. We suffer from a self-defeating character.”
Hebrews 8:10 states “I will put my laws into their mind and write them in their hearts.” What is the solution? Pastor Calvin Robinson concluded, “God wants to give you a new story! But in order to do it we have to first acknowledge and accept that the etchings that have so far shaped our perspectives are inadequate and incapable of sustaining the big dreams that fill our hearts. There has to be some “sanding down” of our old habits and patterns of thinking before God can etch the life-giving patterns into our minds and hearts. We must be made bare before we can bare the marks of our true self. We must let go of our deeply ingrained ways of thinking and considering in order to take hold of the better way, the way opened before us by Jesus Christ Himself.”
It’s a heart thing. Nevertheless, it’s also a hard thing. We all need God’s help to build a strong character that is so vital in this journey. Remember, what’s done in the dark will come to the light.” “For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. (Luke 8:17).” Let’s be reminded that in the end—your lies will find you.
Is your character Godly…?
Effie Rolfe is an Author of “Supersize Your Thinking,” Media Personality and Motivational Speaker. You can contact her effierolfe.com or on twitter.com/effiedrolfe. Listen to her show daily on urbanpraiseradio.org (2015 Stellar Award Winner for Best Internet Radio Station)