An iceberg  is an interesting picture of living and leading in life. There’s more to it than meets the eye. Most of an iceberg is below the surface of the water.  The iceberg represents your life and leadership. The 10% above the water is your skill. The 90% below the water is your character. It’s what’s below the surface that sinks ships. It is what took the Titanic down.

What was the problem? They forgot the truth of the iceberg. What they saw above the water couldn’t have sunk the great ship. Unfortunately-most of an iceberg is below the water line. They underestimated the power of an iceberg, and overestimated their own strength. What an accurate picture of so many people of faith today.

It is never what you see on the surface that counts, it’s always what’s below. Your character is 90% of our power to lead, and live. Character is the sum total of our:

Self-discipline- The ability to do what’s right even if you don’t feel like it

Core values- principles you live by that enable you to take a moral stand

Sense of identity- a realistic self-image based on who you are in Christ

Emotional security- the capacity to be emotionally stable and consistent

Many people make it into the limelight, and neglect their character. Your skill may get you to the top, but it’s always your character that will keep you there. If you don’t have strong character, your ambitions will never fulfill your heart. You can only fake your success for so long.

Fame is what you do for yourself, greatness is what you do for others.

Why are clergy falling everyday? Why do business execs rise to the top of their profession and cheat on deals? My explanation? The iceberg. Weak character may begin with lying and cheating on tests, white lies, and copying other people’s success. Nothing wrong with the latter to an extent, but if you don’t find your own voice and character, It eventually takes it’s form in degrading activities. Here is a bomb-God doesn’t want your skills at the expense of your character and integrity.

Lead yourself before you try to lead others.

The bad news about icebergs is that it’s what’s below the surface that sinks a ship. The good news about icebergs is that it’s what’s below the surface that supports the tip of the iceberg.  In the same way, strong character will hold you up strong long enough to use your skills. Don’t ever reverse those, because if you do, you will be in trouble.

REFLECT: Luke 6:43-45

43 “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart  brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

Why is focusing on the “inside” so difficult for us today?

Why do we put so much emphasis on the “outside” of our lives?

Score yourself  (1 good…10 bad) on how you are doing with the four ingredients that character is made up by:


Core Values

Sense of Identity

Emotional Security

Why did you grade yourself the way that you did?

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