The principle of not being able to pass on what you don’t have yourself applies to a habit of developing godly character. If you have relaxed on engaging with scripture, prayer, and/or involvement in church community, you are likely seeing the same pattern among your coaching clients.
As one of the behavioral expressions under the broader coaching competency of Abiding in Christ, character development amounts to a commitment to developing godly character and a basic maturity in Christ. Coaches who demonstrate this behavioral expression live lives that are generally in line with Scripture. It involves listening to God, considering what he is calling you toward, and then doing it. It’s not perfection; rather, it’s life with a general tilt toward loving obedience.
Godly character is often demonstrated best under trying circumstances. How you handle difficult situations—and how you grow during those seasons—serve as one of the best tests and catalysts for character development. When under pressure, can you show grace? When in the wrong, can you repent? When facing difficulties, can you wait on God?
Why it’s hard to prioritize ongoing character development
James, the brother of Jesus, wrote, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22). We grow in godly character when we take in what God is saying to us—whether in scripture or in prayer—and actively live that truth out in our lives.
Cultivating a godly character is impossible without making connection with God a priority. To do this, we need to find ways to experience him and listen to his voice. We need to find ways to do this that align with who God made us to be. Often when people have difficulty engaging in spiritual practices, it’s because we are trying to do it in ways that don’t fit well with who we are… like David in Saul’s armor.
Want to grow to be more like Christ? Start here
If you are serious about reengaging in your own character development, here are some great questions and practices to help you.
- How do you hear from God? List all the ways you have heard God’s voice. Write down as many as you can. Then consider which of those might be helpful to make into regular practices as you try to listen to his voice.
- Talk with your coach or a peer coach, and walk through these questions together:
- Where are you finding success in connecting with God?
- What does not work well for you?
- How has God wired you to connect with him?
- Given your current stage of life, what might be some helpful ways of engaging with God?
- What environments are conducive to connecting to God for you?
- Journal: When have been the times in your life when you have grown in character the most? What do you think contributed to that growth? What does that tell you?
Coaching Tip: Ask a few people close to you the following questions. Then really listen to their answers.
- In which fruit of the Spirit do you think I could grow most?
- In your experience, what is my biggest barrier to being open to changing?
- When is a time you have truly seen me repent or change?
Character Development is one of 55 behavioral expressions critical to Christian coaching. If you are determined to offer the very best as a coach, we highly recommend Christian Coaching Excellence. In it, you will find detailed explanations of the 9 Christian coaching competencies and each behavioral expression as well as rating norms to help you determine how well you perform in them, proven ways to grow in each, coaching tips, and more.
If you want an accurate picture of your competence as a coach, there is no substitute for the 360° Christian Coach Assessment. This online tool is the only assessment for Christian coaches that is backed by thorough qualitative research. It clearly and accurately identifies your coaching strengths and areas for improvement. Learn more HERE.