I want to have a strong personality. What are the elements of strength of character by which I can become strong?
The apostle St. John said: ” I have written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one.” (1 John 2:14).
So, the strong person is one who has overcome evil, because the word of God lives in him. A leader great enough to defeat an enemy’s army and conquer cities, can be defeated by his lust, and thus is not necessarily truly strong. This is why the wise man says, ‘He who conquers himself is better than he who conquers a city’.
This is the spiritual strength by which a person can defeat his passions and lusts, and can also lead others spiritually.
There is another kind of strength of character which arises from certain qualities in the personality, such as intelligence, wisdom, being well-organised, and able to win people’s hearts, having a good memory, being energetic and full of vitality. A person’s real strength springs from within him, from his victory over himself, from his influence on others, from his strong relationship with God, from his talents, and good behaviour. It might also come from his success, or from his ability to do productive work in various different fields.
Strength is not a false outer appearance of power, nor is it an authority that springs from rank or official position or from wealth.