A pilot spends many hours training in a flight simulator to develop exceptional skills. In the simulator, a pilot encounters every conceivable adverse situation he may experience in the air. There would be no point to a pilot training for flying in only perfect conditions with no mishaps.
In the same way, the best sailors are those who have learned to master storms, fog, unfamiliar waters, and boat or equipment malfunctions. How much would a mariner learn if every day on the water was perfect?
A surgeon spends many years of training after medical school under the direction of a skilled specialist. Through this process the new doctor can learn what to do when complications develop and procedures don’t go as planned.
Even in nature we see instances of the positive effects of adversity. For example, coal is transformed into diamonds only as a result of heat and pressure. Protect a piece of coal from “hardship” and it will remain unimproved.
From the above examples it should be clear how adversity makes people stronger in every way. But do we ever consider what success reveals.
We run to character during our difficult times because we need stability. 9-11 produced a surge in church attendance. A broken relationship causes young people to run to their parents. A loved one in critical condition brings even the most non-religious person to their knees in prayer in the hospital waiting room. Why? Because during the darkest and most difficult times of our life, character provides hope, assurance, and a foundation. In short, these are moments of our life where character is being built brick by brick.
If adversity builds character during our most difficult times, what does success reveal during our most comfortable, prosperous, and dare I say “easy” times of life. Surprisingly, success reveals character.