Have you ever become interested in a television series after it has already aired for a season or two? And have you then gone back to see the earlier seasons and noticed how different some of the characters seem?
I recently stumbled on an old episode of the television series J.A.G. which originally introduced the NCIS character Abby. I mention this because I was fascinated to see how much Abby has changed since this introductory episode. Even if you are not a fan of the show, hang in here with me for a few minutes.
In this original episode she is almost normal, leaning towards Goth, fairly calm, happy, savvy, and sarcastic. She dresses in dark clothes, wears a large necklace, and listens to music while working in her lab. In current episodes of NCIS, Abby is Goth, hyperactive, happy, gullible, and trusts virtually no one outside the immediate team. She dresses primarily in black, wears a spiked dog collar and bracelet, and listens to extremely loud heavy metal music.
What happened? Character development. The scriptwriters wanted to more clearly define this character, so over time Abby changed. Episode by episode, season by season, the actress, the writers, and the directors built her character.
It makes me wonder –
Am I any different today than I was two years ago?
Who is building my character?
2 Peter 1:5-8 is all about character building. “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” When I look back even a few months I can see the difference in myself. Day by day, step by step, season by season, I am making every effort to allow the Lord to use His Word and the situations in my life to change and build my character.
Pauly Perrette, the actress playing Abby, could have resisted efforts to change her character and remained the cute but rather dull person in that original episode. But instead she embraced the challenges of each new script and quickly became a pillar of the show.
I do not want to resist the work God is trying to do on my character. I don’t want to stay the same, I long to grow! I want to be more knowledgeable, more persevering, more loving today than I was yesterday. And it will take new situations and trials to bring that out in me. As well as time spent in His Word. So I choose to embrace the challenge.
What about you? Care to join me in some productive character development?
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