Five Strategies For Growing Your Character

  • 13 January 2016
  • Randy Wollf

I once took an assessment that measured my character. Big mistake! My lowest score was compassion. As a pastor, it struck me that it might be helpful to grow in this area. 

To be honest, I was tempted to ignore this unexpected (and probably inaccurate) result. Yet, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that compassion was important and it needed a boost in my life. I could look compassionate when necessary (and for a time), but it wasn’t usually coming from a heart of compassion.

I decided to try to become more compassionate.

Have you started this year with some New Year’s resolutions? Many of our resolutions focus on external behaviours like exercising more or eating less. What would happen if we started the New Year with a desire to change our hearts?

I truly believe that character is one of seven key dimensions of Christian leadership. In fact, I believe it is the defining characteristic of leadership.

Years have passed since I took that character assessment. Even though I’m still not the most compassionate person in the world, I believe that I have grown in this area (at least, I hope so).

You and I both have strengths and weaknesses when it comes to character qualities. What is one character quality that you would love to see increase this year?

Here are five strategies to help you grow in any desirable character quality:  

1. Pray for God’s Help

We have to have God’s help when it comes to matters of the heart. If you desire to grow in humility, courage, or some other character quality, ask God for help. He delights in helping us follow His example. As the Holy Spirit fills us, He can bear His fruit in our lives.

2. Search the Scriptures

What does the Bible say about the character quality we want to grow in? Finding a theme verse on the quality will provide you with a rallying cry throughout the year. Commit this verse to memory and ask God to remind you of it as a reminder of your desire to grow. 

3. Explore Barriers

Sometimes, our past hinders the expression of a particular character quality. Our family of origin, our culture, or a painful experience may hinder the flow of God’s grace in this particular area of our lives. It’s important to identify and address these barriers.

4. Shadow Others

One of my strategies for growing compassion in my life was to shadow those who exude compassion. As we spend time around people with the quality we desire, we will learn from them. Others’ strengths will rub off on us.

5. Practice

One of the best ways to grow a character quality is to put yourself into situations that require it. Even though I’m not a big fan of visiting people in hospitals, it has been one way of growing compassion in my life.

As you think about your character, what is one area that you would like to grow this year? I would love to hear your aspirations (please post a comment below).