Character is higher than intellect. Ralph Waldo Emerson
You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Who amongst us does not have our share of character flaws? If a large number of us were gathered in a room, and someone asked for those who were most aware of their own character flaws, to raise their hands; would we be one who would actually raise our hands?
What could be learned as a result of those of us who did or did not raise our hands to such a request? Let us take a look at those who did not raise their hand at all. They fall into a category of those who do not know themselves very well, or are not prone to tell the truth, or are so uncomfortable with who they are they are unable to admit to having any weaknesses. Chances are next to nil that anyone who did not raise their hand actually was someone who would score a perfect ten on character strengths. Chances are high the friends and loved ones of such an individual could give us the real lowdown. Those who are truly unaware of having any flaws fall into a category of those who probably have some serious psychological issues. These individuals need help. Those who know their flaws and would not tell the truth, or are too ashamed to admit them, are better off than those who are totally unaware. One of the most important axioms to problem solving is that we have to be aware of a problem before we can do anything about it. Once we know we have a problem we are halfway there to fixing it.
What about those of us who did raise our hand? We are publically admitting that we know we have character flaws and issues. Is this a good or a bad thing? It is mostly good. It is an indication that we have enough self esteem about us that we can see that we are less than perfect, can be honest about it, and are able to acknowledge our state of imperfection in public. All of these things indicate we have positioned ourselves to make solid progress on becoming the better person we know we can be.
The willingness for us to raise our hand is a very good thing. It means we are capable of becoming more accountable and responsible with who and what we are. We have what it takes to make significant progress.
Challenge: Are you someone who can look in the mirror and be comfortable with what you see? You should not see someone whom you idolize. You should not see someone whom you hate or despise? Either of these are indication of some serious self issues. Ideally, you can look in the mirror, honestly see yourself as you are, love yourself despite your flaws, and be able to work with what you have to become a better version of yourself.
Wisdom: Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. Helen Keller
And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever. Isaiah 32:17
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord; and he delighteth in his way. Psalm 37:23
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
No one knows our flaws any better than God does. He knows us in and out, all the dirty little secrets, all the skeletons in our closets, anything and everything that is wrong with us. Despite all of this, He loves us. In fact, He loved us so much that He willingly sacrificed himself to save us. He is our Heavenly Father. He is Love. He is Perfection in every way. If He can love us and be for us, how can we justify not loving ourselves?
Prayer: Help me to increasing learn to love. Help me to love myself in order that I might more truly love others.