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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

28 Jan '12

Healthy character traits

Character is the foundation that gives us influence in ministry. Think about these markers as you evaluate yourself as a ministry leader or a person who values character.


Truthful
Character is always based on truth and never on lies. Jesus called the evil one the father of lies while he said that His word was truth. Whenever we skirt the boundaries of truth we compromise our character. As Mark Twain said, "If you always tell the truth you never have to remember what you said."


Forthright
Being honest, upfront and forthright is a mark of Character. There is no question in the minds of others what you are thinking and there is never a need to say different things to different people for the forthright individual. What you see and here is what you get. Part of character is being self defined and willing to state your views.


Non defensive
People of character are not afraid of being challenged or people who disagree with them. They have developed a non-defensive spirit because they know that life is not about them but about honoring Jesus and being all that we can be, personally and organizationally.


Controlled
People of character are able to control their emotions so that they don't hurt others. They are slow to anger, quick to forgive, love reconciliation and are careful of what they say - so that they build others up rather than tear them down. They have learned to control their emotions and reactions in ways that are healthy.


Without hidden agendas
People of character never hide their true agendas. It is not that we don't have an agenda but whatever it is it is stated and in the open. Hidden agendas lack a truth component which is so important to character. Truthfulness and forthrightness preclude hidden agendas. This is a person who is without guile.


Trustworthy
People of character keep their word and can be counted on to fulfill the promises they make. In other words, they can be trusted to do what they say they will do. Our word is our bond and our promises are sacred. 


Fair
People of character are fair in how they treat people and do not play favorites with those they lead. Even when decisions are not what they hoped for, they know they have been treated fairly.


Consistent
People of character display the same character in the dark when no one is looking as they do in their public life. They are integrated people whose private life matches their public persona. 


Humble
At the heart of character is humility. It is what makes possible all the other traits of good character. Humility is necessary for teachability, for growth, for character development and for healthy relationships with others. Pride makes for poor character. Humility makes for great character.