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ALTAR CALL: Embrace ‘good and godly’ character

Cheryl Harewood

ALTAR CALL: Embrace ‘good and godly’ character

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AT TIMES we inherit reputations based on our past mistakes, our family history, where we live or the schools we have attended.

These reputations may remain with us throughout the course of our lives, but we must always remember that reputation is what people think and what they think may not necessarily reflect the truth about who we really are. People will sometimes cast judgement without understanding the circumstances behind our actions.

These truths were recently relayed to residents at the Boys Government Industrial School at Dodds, St Philip, as they were challenged to “embrace good and godly character rather than an identity or reputation super-imposed by society as a result of past mistakes or mishaps”.

Pastor Timothy McClean, of Healing For the Soul Ministries (HFSM), encouraged the boys to give God a chance in their lives and allow their true character to shine despite their difficult challenges.

Hurdle to success

“Do not allow your situation to create a reputation for you. A bad reputation can be a hurdle to success but a good character can open many doors. Surrender today to God. Allow Him to help you navigate the challenges in your life, build your character and cause your reputation to come into alignment with who you truly are,” McClean said.

His message was based on the question Jesus asked His disciples: “Who do people say that I am?”

“What do you present to people about yourself?” McClean asked his young audience. “Are you showing them the real you or are you showing them what you want them to believe?

“Most people don’t know who they are. When you asked them that question, they normally answer by telling you their talents, their accomplishments, their name or their alias, but no one really says who they are and most people are uncomfortable explaining who they are.”

The minister said people were generally known by their reputation or their character. “Reputation is what people think about you or what they think you are. Character is who you really are.”


He told the youngsters challenges came regardless of age, but how they were handled “often reveal what is on the inside” of an individual.

“Man looks at the outer appearance but Gods looks at that heart,” McClean told his captive audience. “Dismiss what people think and have said [about you] and allow the true nature of your heart to shine.”

He defined character as “the distinctive mental and moral qualities” of an individual and character “to be the sum of one’s thoughts, desires, intentions and actions”.

He added: “At your young age, your character is still developing, so you are at a unique stage in your life despite your immediate challenges to build your character. The Bible records in the Book of Genesis that Joseph endured many challenges. He was unfaired by his brothers, sold into slavery, accused of sexual harassment and imprisoned wrongfully but regardless of where he was, regardless of his situation, he demonstrated a strong character.

“He was not consumed by anger or bitterness or studied revenge. As a result of his attitude, he rose to the highest post wherever he went, until he moved from being a prisoner to become prime minister.”

McClean admonished the youngsters not to allow their respective situations to create a bad reputation for them.

“A good character can open many doors for you. Surrender today to God and allow Him to help you navigate the challenges in your life, build your character and cause your reputation to come in alignment with who you truly are.”

Before making their departure, members of HFSM presented personal care items to the institution’s vice-principal, Ronald Brathwaite, who expressed appreciation on behalf of the boys for the kind gesture.

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