I want to begin with an astonishing statement. Your
pastor doesn’t leap out of bed early each morning
and say, “Glory to God, I get to read my Bible and
There are times when even the best of
Christians struggle to do the things that they know
are necessary for success in the spiritual arena.
The greatest enemy in the battle for Christian
growth is not sin, society or even Satan. The most
formidable foe is self.
Self wants to sleep in instead of rising early to
meet with God. Self desires to just drift along
instead of moving forward. Left unchecked, self will
be content to meander in the maze of mediocrity.
Because of our sinful nature, there is a part of our
“Self” that just does not want to do right. What can
a Christian do to succeed against self?
I sometimes counsel young people who have lost
their desire for spiritual things. My advice to them
is to always do what you know to be right even when
you do not feel like it.
There is a phrase in I Samuel 13:12 that arrested
my attention. I Samuel 13:12 says, “Therefore said
I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to
Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the
LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt
There are times when we may not feel like reading
our Bibles, praying, attending church, visiting our
bus route, obeying our parents or fulfilling our
responsibilities around our homes, but we need to
force ourselves to do right anyway.
This is the essence of character. Character is
the subconscious doing of right. This means we do
right by reflex. However, before anyone can
instinctively do right, he must first consciously do
right. Before any person will subconsciously do
right, he must program himself to consciously do
Dr. Bill Rice III used to say, “Character is
doing right without regard to inward desire, outward
pressure, or eventual outcome.” Dr. Bob Jones, Sr.
was known for saying, “Do right ‘till the stars
We build character by disciplining ourselves to
faithfully complete the miniscule tasks of life
until they become a habit. Phillips Brooks
commented, “Character may be manifested in the great
moments, but it is made in the small ones.” Another
said, “Character is simply long habit continued.”