Cultivating Character

Esther 4:9–14

Now, before you frown and entertain thoughts of self-righteousness, thinking that you would never have responded like that, remember, you’re surrounded by friends in a safe and unthreatened environment where there are no armed soldiers outside and governmental protocol to obey. Furthermore, chances are good you don’t live under a cloud because of the race into which you were born, and there’s no king sitting on a throne at whose whim you live or die. It’s easy to be brave when we’re protected and secure, when we have nothing to risk.

If Esther obeyed Mordecai, she stood to risk everything, including her life. Although the king was her husband, she couldn’t just stroll into his office and casually unload what was on her mind. Things didn’t work like that in ancient Persia. He had to send for her. And at that time, he hadn’t sent for her for a month. If she went to him without being summoned, he could have her put to death. On top of all that, she was Jewish. Who knows how that Gentile monarch would respond when he found that out?

It was a huge dilemma. But Mordecai knew Esther. He had taken care of her. He had trained her. He knew how far he could push. Most of all, he knew her character. He knew the stuff of which she was made.

Encouraging the cultivation of character is exactly what wise parents do, nudging, urging their children toward maturity. As a parent, you have occasions in your life, brief vignettes, little windows of time, where you can step forward and help your children to understand the value of being brave. As they grow up and those hands-on occasions change to a more distant relationship, you must call upon your children to stand for what they believe, even if they must stand alone—and then trust them to do it without you alongside.

Mordecai faces that moment. So when Hathach comes to him with Esther’s answer, Mordecai tightens the sash around his sackcloth and says the hard thing. He appeals to her character.

In that same situation, what do you think you would have said to the queen?

Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.

Posted in Parenting and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.

ఖచ్చితత్వం, స్పష్టత మరియు ఆచరణాత్మకత అన్నీ చార్లెస్ ఆర్. స్విన్డాల్ యొక్క బైబిల్-బోధనా పరిచర్యను వివరిస్తాయి. చక్ ఇన్సైట్ ఫర్ లివింగ్ కు బోర్డు ఛైర్మన్ మరియు డల్లాస్ థియోలాజికల్ సెమినరీకి ఛాన్సలర్. చక్ టెక్సాస్‌లోని ఫ్రిస్కోలోని స్టోన్‌బ్రయర్ కమ్యూనిటీ చర్చ్ యొక్క సీనియర్ పాస్టర్‌గా కూడా పనిచేస్తున్నారు, అక్కడ ఆయన చాలా ఇష్టపడేదాన్ని చేయగలుగుతున్నాడు-ఇష్టపడే హృదయాలకు బైబిల్ నేర్పిస్తున్నారు. ఆచరణాత్మక బైబిల్ అనువర్తనంపై ఆయన దృష్టి 1979 నుండి ఇన్సైట్ ఫర్ లివింగ్ రేడియో ప్రసారంలో వినబడుచున్నది.