The building of character is first and foremost an action of grace in our lives. As we look upon Christ, our hearts, our minds, and our character will change, transforming us into a living sacrifice for His glory. Use this guide to reflect on the last year, contemplating places the Lord has grown you in character while also seeking areas where you need to repent, believe, and prayerfully pursue change.

Use the scripture references listed here to pray and reflect through these questions and ask God to continue working in your heart through His Word.

1. How have you been intentional to appreciate the people around you? Do you believe they feel known and encouraged through your relationship? If so, list a few examples. If not, why do you believe that is?

(John 13:1; 15:13; 1 Corinthians 13)

2. Would the people around you – family, friends, employees, and supervisors – say that you’re a joy-filled person? Can you think of examples in which you chose to respond in joy when it would have been easier to linger in frustration or anger? If none are coming to mind, why do you think joy is difficult to choose in those situations?

(Proverbs 15:13; John 15:11; 17:13)

3. Are you considered a peacemaker within your spheres of influence or do you often find yourself fanning the flames of conflict? Thinking through examples of either, reflect on the apostle Paul’s call in Romans 12:18 to “be at peace with all men.”

(Matthew 5:9; Colossians 3:15; Philippians 4:7, Hebrews 12:14)

4. Are your interactions with others marked by patience? Do you look for opportunities to teach and exhort those who are struggling, or are you prone to make demands and conditions in stressful situations? What compels you to react in that way?

(1 Thessalonians 5:14, Romans 12:10-13, James 1:2-3)

5. Do those close to you come asking for help or advice often? Is your first reaction of benevolence and love or skepticism and judgement? Why?

(Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:12-13)

6. Are you committed to integrity and honesty towards others? Are you often tempted to exaggerate or withhold information to better people’s perception of you or to manipulate benefits to yourself? If so, why do you feel that’s a temptation?

(Matthew 19:16, 2 Corinthians 8:21, Ephesians 4:25)

7. Is your first reflex in decision-making to seek and submit to the will of God? Is your relationship with the Lord the guiding principle in your daily decisions and larger commitments? How can you improve in this?

(Matthew 17:19; 25:21; 1 Cor. 12:9; Hebrews 11:1; 1 Thess. 5:24)

8. Do you display tenderness and personal care when others have a need? Is it easy or difficult for you to lead others in sensitive or emotional conversations? If difficult, why is that?

(Phil. 4: 52 Timothy 2:24; 1 Thess. 2:7)

9. When managing your emotions, do you feel able to exercise self-restraint? Do your feelings and desires lead your actions or are you able to put truth before those reactions? How can you continue to better submit your emotions to truth first?

(1 Thessalonians 5:22, Proverbs 25:28, Proverbs 16:32)