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Forum Summary: The Seven C’s for Navigating Life

Author: Ryan Price | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2021-22

Estimated Reading Time: 4 min.

With the Living Education–Charlotte semester drawing to a close, Dr. Douglas Winnail wanted to share with the students seven principles—all starting with the letter C—that would help them through life.

He explained that if we focus on these things periodically throughout our lives, they’ll keep us from making some common mistakes, and our lives will be better for it.

1. Character

Character is who you are. Dr. Winnail asked the students, “How would you describe yourself? How do [others] see you?” He then referred to Exodus 18:21 to illustrate that character is a very important quality God looks for in leaders and potential members of His Family. If we are to lead in the Kingdom, we’ll need to develop the kind of character God can trust. Dr. Winnail emphasized that character is one of the most important qualities we can develop in this life. The way we can do this is by making the right choices. Our choices guide our character development, so, when faced with temptation, we must stand strong.

2. Competence

“Whatever field you go into, strive to become the best.” Dr. Winnail encouraged the students to develop the skills they’ll need and get the best information and education on whatever career they choose. But we should apply this approach to every aspect of our lives, not just our careers. Dr. Winnail referred to the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 as an example of competence. He encouraged the students to try many things and, when they find something that fits them, try to develop the skills they need to be the best in it.

3. Commitment

Ecclesiastes 9:10 tells us that whatever we decide to do, we should do it with all our might. Dr. Winnail advised that we carefully consider what it is that we’re going to put that effort into. We should think about where we want to go in life and why we want to go there, asking God to help guide us to where He can best use us. Once we’ve decided on a path and have determined that it’s the right way to go, we must be committed to it to find success. When we’re baptized, we’re committing to a way of life—but, as with Abraham and Isaac, God may test us to see how committed we really are.

4. Courage and Conviction

It will take courage and conviction to follow through on that commitment. Dr. Winnail referred to 1 Thessalonians 5:21 to explain that when it comes to our beliefs, we must take the time to prove them. We need to prove that there is a God and that He has a plan because it will take courage and conviction to live His way in this world. There will be trials and temptations, but we can have that courage if we trust in God.

5. Compassion and Concern

In the end times, people will only care about themselves. However, we have been called to come out of this world and care for other people. Dr. Winnail encouraged the students to consider how what they do in life can help other people. We should look for ways to serve others and notice their needs. Dr. Winnail advised that we should ask God to open doors for us that will allow us to serve others in a greater capacity.

6. Communication

Referring to Proverbs 31:26, Dr. Winnail explained that we can develop kindness as we speak to people and that we can learn to speak wisely by reading through the Proverbs. Many social issues stem from a lack of communication, and the Bible has a lot to say about that. For instance, if we have a problem with someone, the Bible admonishes that we talk to them. Dr. Winnail encouraged the students to develop the capacity to talk and build relationships with people.

7. Conversion

What does it mean to be converted? Signs of conversion are the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:15-26 and a desire and determination to do things God’s way as opposed to our own. Conversion also involves being teachable and a willingness to forgive—including going to someone to apologize for an offense you caused. 

Dr. Winnail expressed that these principles will help us navigate through life. He encouraged the students to consider these “Seven Cs” and the lessons we have learned this year so our lives will be richer and more successful.