Your Character Is Showing

We just experienced another Survivor finale in which people talked about the line between the game and real life. Throughout the season friends would disagree with me about how people were playing the game. I know there’s a lot of money on the line, but is your integrity really for sale?

If you lie, you’re a liar. If you cheat, you’re a cheater. If you are willing to throw away friendships for the sake of winning, you’re not a friend.

I’ve heard it said that character is what you are when no one is looking. The implication is that when no one else is around you will behave in ways that you wouldn’t want other people to know about. So, what does that say about people who do these things when they know that thousands, maybe millions of people are watching?

One of the players this year was a young man who was very vocal about his Christianity. As I’ve said before, I often cringe when someone identifies themselves as a Christian right off the bat, because they often go on to behave very badly. This young man did not. He made some typical errors for a very young man, such as struggling to make a decision (making him look a bit wishy-washy). But, he never let me down. He spent a lot of time alone. He struggled. He broke down. He also shared his faith with others. He affected others. He had a tremendous witness.

Another young player routinely lied and finally chose strategy over friendship. She made promises, knowing that she would not keep them.

Both of these young adults will have to go back to their real lives. The young man has shown that he will keep his word. He will work hard. He is a man of integrity. The young woman has shown that her loyalty and her honesty have a price. Each has revealed his or her true character.

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