I’ve been thinking a lot about character lately, in part because I’ve been working on a book on compassionate discipleship for about three years now and this subject is always bouncing around in my brain.
But this afternoon as I was preparing an online lecture on missions for our University of Valley Forge Students, I came across a list of character traits in a book called Introducing Missions, by Scott Moreau, Gary Corwin and the late Gary B. McGee. The list seemed especially applicable these days and so I thought I’d share my own version of their list (with some minor changes and with my own elaborations for life in the time of COVID-19). So, here they are:
1.Focus on people over tasks – put people first, and your tasks will become richer and more meaningful.
2.Can withhold unproductive criticism – If it can go without saying, it probably should.
3.Tolerance of ambiguity and flexibility – change is the only constant. Embrace it and your stress levels will drop dramatically!
4.Empathy – laugh with those who laugh, cry with those who cry, and offer practical help to both (and platitudes and cliches to neither)
5.Openness in communication style – say what you mean, mean what you say. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Life is so much simpler this way.
6.High cognitive complexity – don’t fall for the intellectually lazy blame game or for making an entire race culpable for…anything.
7.Good personal relational skills – get along with folks. Its a lot less work than the alternative.
8.Perseverance – don’t give up. The answer/solution/relief is likely closer than you think.
Stay safe and joyful everyone! Jesus is in control!