This is an excerpt from a brand-new book, Home Run: Learn God’s Game Plan for Life, co-authored by Kevin Myers of 12Stone Church and Atlanta and John C. Maxwell. In the book, Myers and Maxwell share their thoughts on four key ideas crucial to win in life and leadership: Connection with God, Character, Community, and Competence.In this post, Kevin shares some thoughts on why character matters.
What Blows Up Our Lives?
I watch a lot of movies. I love them for the entertainment factor, but I also often see spiritual truths in them. A favorite lesson can be found in the 2008 movie Iron Man. It’s the story of Tony Stark, a playboy inventor who inherits his father’s fortune and his interest in the weapons manufacturing industry he founded. Though Tony is a genius at creating weapons, he is also a picture of self-indulgence and irresponsibility. To say that he’s someone who has neglected first base is an understatement. But his nonchalance toward character does catch up with him, and as is true for all of us, his actions have consequences.
In a pivotal scene of the movie, the military vehicle in which Tony is riding somewhere in Afghanistan is attacked, and the convoy is destroyed. Tony runs for his life, only to come face-to-face with a bomb that has been launched by the enemy. To his shock, the bomb has the name and logo of his own company on it. When it explodes, Tony is near-fatally wounded.
What does this have to do with character and first base? The message is painfully clear: We are like Tony Stark. What blows up in our lives usually has our name on it! The problems we experience—we often create. And like Tony, we are often surprised when they blow up in our faces and ruin our lives.
Has that been true for you? Are you surprised by the blowups in your life? Or do you have the eyes to see your own role in creating many of them? Do you have the courage to confess how you contribute to the consequences you experience? If so, you probably understand the connection between consequences and character flaws. Once you understand how you blow up your own dreams, you have good reasons to win first-base character.
Now, I’m not a millionaire playboy, and chances are you’re not, either. So if you don’t relate to Tony Stark, here’s an image that may resonate with you. Character problems are like sinkholes. Sinkholes are fissures or chasms hidden under the surface of the ground that collapse, creating an open hole in the ground. I’ve read that Florida is full of them. Water erodes the limestone underground and leaves empty pockets. When the ground above them gives way, a hole is created. Some are tiny. But others are big enough to swallow a car, a house, or, according to one article in the Wall Street Journal, an entire car dealership! What’s amazing is that the moment before the sinkhole opens up, nobody has a clue there is a problem. One minute you’re in your house and everything is normal. The next minute, the ground collapses and your house is destroyed.
People who don’t take care of character issues are like houses built over sinkholes. They may look great. They may appear solid—not only to the casual observer but also to the residents in the house. But as soon as pressure comes, because the foundation is weak, cracks appear, and total disaster may be only seconds away.
Good character creates an invisible foundation in a person’s life, upon which relationships, career, and purpose can be built. With a strong character foundation, you can withstand life’s storms and pressures. Without it, you implode and your entire life can get swallowed up like a house in a sinkhole.
Hear more of what Kevin and John have to say about Character and other vital qualities for leaders by check out the book. Visit http://www.homerunlife.com to learn more.