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Character Matters
June 2010
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Character Trait – Consistency:
Check It Out. – What Does It Matter? – How Does it Count?
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One way the Bible describes our Christian walk is to be complete in Christ (see Col. 2:10 for one example). The King James Version often translates this as being perfect – in the sense of being fully grown or mature. Being complete is having integrity.

When we think of integrity, we usually think of being morally responsible, upright, honest, and sincere. But another aspect of its meaning is to be complete, whole, sound, and entirely consistent.

Our theme this month is building a heritage of learning. Building is a step-by-step process based on consistency. If we want integrity in our homeschooling, then we need to be consistent – building year upon year toward a predetermined purpose.

There's been a lot said lately about a purpose-driven life. Even on this website we share repeatedly about the need to have a written purpose statement that guides our homeschooling. When we develop long-term goals, we often picture the end result we want to achieve.

While stressing this vision of where we are going with our homeschooling, it's equally important to remember that the destination is only part of the equation. With God, the journey toward that destination is just as important. It has to do with the heart attitude.

R Ruth Barton put it this way: “We set young leaders up for a fall if we encourage them to envision what they can do before they consider the kind of person they should be.” In other words, what you are is just as important as what you do.

          Sow an act,
          reap a habit;
          Sow a habit,
          reap a character;
          Sow a character,
          reap a destiny.

Habits are consistent, repeated actions. The word consistency literally means with togetherness. Our actions work together with what we say and what we believe to form a harmonious whole. We are complete. If our actions don't line up with our words or values, then we are lacking in integrity. When our habits are godly, biblical actions, and when our heart attitudes mimic those of Jesus, we are complete in Him.

In Developing the Leader Within You, John Maxwell quotes Paul Myer as he explains the process of consistency. “Attitudes are nothing more than habits of thoughts, and habits can be acquired. An action repeated becomes an attitude realized.”

As we pray and plan for the next academic year, may we be mindful of building in a consistent manner.

Not only in terms of the academic skills, but in our children's attitudes, social skills, spiritual development, and character.

I think most of us would agree that this is what we are working toward. But in this fast-paced society, where fads come and go – even in homeschooling circles – it's easy to get pulled off-track by what is convenient. It can be tempting to go the easy route. With so many diverse materials and resources available to us now, it's possible to switch from one program to another because each one looks so good. But we must ask ourselves, does this build consistency? Does this program fit the strategy for fulfilling our goals? Does it develop habits consistent with our homeschooling purpose?

You see, character is not essential to success. It is not even essential to leadership. But character is what makes a leader worth following. It is what makes a successful Christian complete in Him.
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