A few weeks ago our staff embarked on a very challenging, but rewarding journey together of speaking into each other’s characters. We watched a sermon from Dallas Theological Seminary about helping each other grow both in the things we are inherently good at and those things that are flaws in our characters. As a body of believers, and as a family of staff, we are in a place when we love each other that we want each other to grow, whether it is hard or not. So we wrote and shared three amazing things about each other in one of our staff development meetings. And it bonded us exponentially. Every group of people who work closely together has dysfunction, but I felt ours melt away as we praised each other for who God made them to be.
The hard part came when we handed cards to each other with an area of character improvement written on them. It was hard to give them and hard to receive our character flaws explained. My character flaws had a lot to do with my mouth and how quick I have to speak my opinions and ideas to the detriment of other’s feelings. Stubbornness was also on there. For those of you who know me, you are not surprised at that. I wasn’t either but it still hurt to know that I still struggle with those things years after starting to work on them and to recognize that I hurt people I love by lacking enough of a filter in my speech. But that was exactly the point of the exercise, to be able to improve ourselves and to make ourselves go from good to great.
I recommend trying this. In your marriages, your workplace, your ministry teams, your friend groups. Keep in mind that when you are aiding each other in this way that you are operating from a place of good will towards each other. You are not pointing out flaws in each other because you want to hurt them, but rather because you want to see them become more like Christ. You are doing it because you love each other and desire the best for each other. That is the only way it works and the only way you will be willing to except the constructive criticism from other people. But do it, let yourself be transparent with the people that are closest to you and be excited for what God can do through that willingness to bring you closer to him.