Character Excellence Rather Than Things

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13 January, 2023




To this John replied, 'A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.' John 3:27

Human excellence consists in the perfection of human nature. Things cannot enter men to make them better or more worthy. "A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven." Only the God who made man's nature in the first place can remake it after the divine image.

A man’s earthly situation can neither add to nor take from what the man has within him. The martyrs who went about in goatskins or hid from their tormentors in dens and caves of the earth had nothing external to support their self-confidence or give them social status. Yet in the great day of Christ their interior excellence will shine forth as the brightness of the sun.

So I watch the man drive proudly by and wonder why he does not understand that true excellence lies in moral character, not in the beauty or elegance of a soulless machine. And I wonder whether he is an unbeliever or a deacon in a nearby church. A gospel church perhaps. And my thoughts are troubled for myself, and mine, and those for whom I am responsible, and for all for whom Christ died.


It is character excellence that defines one's worth and only God can transform us into the likeness of Christ. Earthly possessions and life circumstances do not contribute to that transformation. Submission to the Holy Spirit does.


O God, continue changing me even if it means dispossessing me of things.