The Baptist Pillar ©      Brandon Bible Baptist Church     1992-Present

"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15

The Test of Character

Frederick B. Greul

From The Watchman Examiner, 1916

No one ever thought iron could be displaced by another metal. Aluminum, made of clay, is, how­ever, the competitor of iron. A boat made of this new material and capable of holding six persons weighs only about sixty pounds.

How many men would pass for ordinary men were it not that some trial had brought out their hidden mettle! The grit of character showed itself in resistance and endurance. The time may come when hard pressed men will thank God for the rough handling they have had.

Roger Williams came upon appalling times. He was brave and true before his banishment, but his fourteen weeks of poverty and pain furnished the material to build his monument for all time. He was not alone, however.

A study of faces in an ordinary car will be productive of material for reflection. It is a study one can pursue every day with endless profit. Watch the care-drawn face of some woman. It is hard and fixed. No brightness glistens in the eye. The woman is alone in the crowd. It is then that the care-worn life looks natural. Little is known of the storm she faces with a steadfast character. Why does she not give up? One can tell when that takes place. The trouble is the loom on which that soul is stretched will be the means of her char­acter development if she has the grit. She usually has.

What about the minister of the Gospel? Does he have cares hidden beneath the surface that wrench and burn his soul? No finer men walk the earth than ministers. These quiet, loyal men are like a bedrock underlying the character and stability of the church. They are neither understood by the church nor justly estimated by the multitude.

As a class they have character. Character is not disclosed in or devel­oped by physical gyrations or emotional distortion and intoxication. Character is the product of some Gethsemane, in most cases.

The crowd likes to hear the minister criticized. The more public and scandalizing the criticism, the better the crowd likes it.

When some gifted spirit feels that he is the "sledgehammer" of the Almighty, he picks the minister as a popular target. He hits to smash. One is led to think that usually he has felt less of the agony of Gethsemane than has the men he beats with a mer­ciless hand. The crowd likes it and applauds.

The minister goes quietly about his Master's business. Why? Because he is a man of character. Character can stand the test.

Long after the freaks and foible traducers are forgotten the men who visited Geth­semane and waited on the Lord will be remembered and be enshrined in the hearts of those they led God ward.