Every calling is great. Every great calling requires great character to fulfill it!
Character is defined as "the totality of a person’s dispositions or characteristics that play a role in how the person, morally speaking, behaves." A person’s character consists in his or her dispositions to act in certain ways.
We act and live according to what we are committed to. That’s why CALLING/PURPOSE are so vital. Our commitments are a product of our character. John the Baptist was certain of His calling and he was committed to it. When crowds came out to follow him he challenged their motives, their commitment, their character:
"What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? "But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. "But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. "For this is he of whom it is written: `Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.' "Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist...; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. (Matthew 11:7-11, NKJ)
Here’s why this was so important for John the Baptist. All eyes were on him. He wasn’t a reed blowing in the wind. He didn’t give in to every wind of doctrine. He was a man of conviction. He wasn’t a softy – living a luxurious lifestyle in the Kings palace. He was a bold and powerful prophet who knew his place. He knew his calling and it required great humility to fulfill it. And those who followed him were watching to see how would follow Jesus.
And they came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified-- behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!" John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. "You yourselves bear me witness, that I said,`I am not the Christ,' but,`I have been sent before Him.' "He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. "He must increase, but I must decrease. "He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. "And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. "He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. "For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. "The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:26-36, NKJ)
Now Your calling requires great character, deep conviction, high level of humility!
You see – that was John's calling and commitment – and he had to stay humble, because his unique calling was to prepare the way for another. John was the one created by God to create a clearing (a clear path) for others to believe. He was a bulldozer, knocking down long-standing, over-grown beliefs so people could have a clear path to Christ.
But, John had a weakness. John the Baptist was in Prison – he found himself analyzing his life and the impact he had made and began to see that he might have missed it. He began to doubt a lot of things – including Jesus- Jesus wasn’t meeting his expectations! He sent two men to ask Jesus,
“Are you the coming one, or should we look for another?”
There was doubt, a huge faith struggle. His faith became extremely weak. He was losing hope and began to wonder if what he had lived his whole life for was a sham! He was great among men, among them that are born of women, But he was having a moment of weakness. He was dealing with doubt, unmet expectations, anger, jealousy, bitterness and he was tempted to quit, There’s really no indication that he talked to anyone else about what he was experiencing except the two men he sent to Jesus to express his struggle.
Here's the challenge:
To forge great character requires overcoming weakness! “The man who is “great” is the one who faces his weakness and overcomes it.”
Moments of weakness are opportunities to Trust God and Develop our Character.
There are basically only two kinds of people. They are the victims & The victors. Victims are the people who cannot rise above their circumstances, they cannot rise above their difficulties, they cannot rise above their weaknesses. The victors are the people who can, and the people who can are the ones that make an impact – they are the great ones!
Everybody has weaknesses. Everybody has failings and infirmities and problems… besetting sins. The question is whether or not you can overcome them, and that is the mark of great character. The great ones battle through, the great ones fight it! They can fight against their own ignorance, they can compete against their own laziness, they can compete against their own pride, arrogance, bitterness, anger, jealousy, envy...you name it. They compete against their own weaknesses and they will overcome!