Osama bin Laden threatens our way of life. Many leaders oppose world peace. Al Queda is still a viable network of worldwide terror. Wall Street wobbles on the verge of collapse as our environment deteriorates daily. If there is any single word that best describes our troubled world it must be the word, “Crisis.” Yet these crises are not the real issue. These are but symptoms of the real crisis that threatens us. As a people we are facing a crisis of failed character.

     A survey of high school students shows that 3 out of every 4 of them admit that they have cheated on an exam in the previous 12 months. Thirty-eight percent of them freely admit that they have stolen something from a store within the same time period. An alarmingly high percentage admits that they regularly lie to parents and teachers. And, perhaps most tragic of all, in religious schools the statistics regarding cheating and stealing are the same and even higher when it comes to lying!

     But before we condemn these students, we must remember that, to a large extent, character is caught more than it is taught. What do we expect from a generation that has witnessed presidents resigning from office to avoid impeachment for lying and stealing? Presidents lying to Congress to cover up sexual misconduct? A national debate among some of America’s finest that actually challenged the legitimacy of this obvious truth, “Personal character and integrity ought to be fundamental qualifications for the presidency of the United States of America.”

     God is God and we are not. Unfortunately, we lose sight of this truth all too often. As God’s people we behave the way we behave not merely because we want to avoid painful consequences in our lives. We behave the way we behave because God commands us to behave that way!

     The development of godly character is not merely “an important part of life”-it is life. To develop godly character we must diligently pursue a life that acknowledges His sovereignty and we must eliminate all things from our lives that impede His place of sovereignty over us.

     As a people we have fallen from God and our lack of character proves it. As a people we must return to Him as God or we will perish.