I have identified 26 character traits or behavior patterns that I focus on extensively. I go through my list taking one character trait a week to think about, reflect on in my life, and do some writing on how I can grow and improve in this area. This week the character trait is “honoring others”, and the “others” would be my wife Patty, our 8 kids, their spouses and 22 grandkids, the staff at the church that I pastor, people in the church, and people in general who come into my life.
During the week I take a few minutes at the end of each day and think through the contacts I had with people and how I treated them, and I compare the conclusions with previous weeks when I was on the same character trait. With 26 character traits identified I go through each one twice a year. This focus really helps me to think how I am talking, listening, and responding in general each time I interact with a person. My self-control increases with my awareness of what I am trying to do and how I am trying to act.
Hebrews 6:1 says, “Let us press on to maturity”, and that is what I want to do. “To press on” is more than casual, it is like an athlete working hard to get better at his sport. He spends hours practicing and working out to get better so he can win. That is what I want to do, but I don’t want to win a golf game, I want to win with God, and get a prize from Him that will last forever.