Proverbs 12:3 (NIV) reads, “No one can be established through wickedness. But the righteous cannot be uprooted.”

As men, we spend decades building careers and, it so often seems, only days building character.

As men, we spend decades building careers and, it so often seems, only days building character.

What if, *while* considering …

Years of youth league and high school football, top college programs to the NFL;

Years of AP classes, Ivy League undergrad, med school, internship and residency to world class surgeon;

Years of service, apprenticeship, sacrifice, savings and risk to open that restaurant, store, firm or whatever …

What if, *along with* considering such career investment, we consider adding just an hour a day to intentionally investing in our character?

I say “along with” intentionally. Because sacrifice and investment for careers is not evil. The gifts and desires our Creator put in us for purpose and destiny are real. They should be discovered, developed and displayed.

But, as Jesus asks in Mark 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Jesus is not downplaying the importance of career development. He is elevating character development. It is not a knock on hard work, it is praise for high living.

It is not either/or. It is both/and! Career and no character and you get men who occupy positions of influence and power who are dishonest and greedy. Character and no career and you get men filled with wisdom and insight who have no students or legacy.

We are created both to do and to be. The dominion given us by God is not devoid of stewardship and service. That way we have skin in the game.

We are created both to do and to be. The dominion given us by God is not devoid of stewardship and service. That way we have skin in the game.

So, what if we tweaked our 10 and 15 year plans a bit? What if we swapped the focus of most of our efforts? What if, we made character development our first goal and career development our second?

Solomon was saying, in Proverbs 12:3, that is the best way to long term success, accomplishment and continuity, however one may choose to define those. Please note, Solomon isn’t promising a specific level of accomplishment here. He’s not saying every righteous man will be a millionaire, for example.

He is saying is a man’s character defines him. It establishes him. Whatever level of success and accomplishment he is able to achieve is secure. The vagaries of life, the faithlessness of men and the harvest of seed sown, sometimes years or decades earlier, cannot threaten what he has done.

Consider the world in which we find ourselves currently …

Just a year ago COVID arrived, unannounced and unexpected (vagaries of life). Until recently, Harvey Weinstein had everything a man could desire and was a sought after companion. Now, he cannot be vilified, renounced or disavowed enough by those who once spoke well of him (the faithlessness of men). And what of ultimately inescapable harvests of seeds sown earlier? Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey, Aaron Hernandez, Kenneth Lay, Jim Baker, Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart … and Me; my own story …

When investing for the future, by all means, work, plan, sacrifice, invest, develop, explore and risk to discover your giftings, talents and strengths! Whether a 1 talent servant or a 5 talent servant, develop yourself to the fullest extent possible. That is absolutely a hallmark of a faithful servant.

At the same time work harder, plan longer, sacrifice more extensively, invest more heavily, develop more extensively, explore more deeply and dare to risk more recklessly to develop your character … It’s the only way to truly guarantee your foundation and legacy.

One cannot express a lack of character in private and expect to remain publicly secure. Just so, one cannot invest in private character and not expect to be established and defended by God Himself. Because “No one can be established through wickedness, but the righteous cannot be uprooted.”

For the display of His splendor ~