Self-Examination, Part 1: Using Your Strengths in Relationships

Self Examination: How Are You Using Your Strengths in Your Relationships?

The beginning of a new year is a wonderful time to examine yourself, particularly in how you are using your strengths.

man looking in mirror

Image: The Counterintuitive

This kind of self-examination can be challenging because your strengths are intangible. One practical way to understand how you have used your strengths and what changes to make in the coming year is to examine where they are manifested most: in your relationships.

Your strengths were not given to you for your benefit, but rather to benefit others. 1 Corinthians 12:7 tells us, “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (ESV). God has wired you with specific strengths for a very specific purpose: so that you can help others. God’s design is for your strengths to build your relationships.

Over the past year, how you have been 1. Using your strengths in your relationships? 2. Valuing others’ strengths in your relationships? 3. Blending your differences to develop unity in your relationships? And how can your relationships become stronger and deeper in the coming year?

This series helps you examine 3 ways you can examine yourself to build your relationships, beginning with using your own strengths.

Know You Have Unique Strengths

Surprisingly, the first step in using your strengths is not knowing what yours are, but rather in understanding that you have them. You are unique. Your differences are God-given.

Ask yourself:

  • To what extent do I accept the fact that I solve problems, process information, manage change, and face risk differently from those around me?
  • How quick am I to compare my differences with others – and find myself wanting or find myself gloating?
  • In what ways can I regularly thank God for the differences between people?

Embrace Your Unique Strengths

If you are not aware of your specific strengths, this would be a good time to discover them using a Leading From Your Strengths profile assessment or other tool. If you have completed an assessment more than a year ago or your circumstances have recently changed, take another one to update your data.

Ask yourself:

  • In what ways can I regularly thank God for my strengths?
  • How deep is my gratitude for my strengths and how often do I yearn for other strengths?
  • Which of my strengths can I use more fully in my relationships during the coming year?

Seek Ways to Use Your Unique Strengths

Ask yourself:

  • What opportunities has God given me in the past year to use my strengths to build my relationships – and what did I do with those opportunities?
  • What biblical figures demonstrate my strengths and what can I learn from them?
  • How can I be open and ready to use my strengths to build relationships in the coming year?

Looking Back and Looking Forward with Your Strengths

As you look back and look forward, the question to ask is not, “Am I using my strengths?” Rather ask yourself, “How can I use my strengths to build healthier relationships in the coming year?”

Thousands have discovered their personal strengths by completing the Leading From Your Strengths (LFYS) profile assessment, a personalized, detailed 20-page report which accurately describes your individual habitual patterns of behavior, thought, emotion, and communication and provides you with sophisticated, objective insights about your unique strengths. You can complete a simple, 10-minute online questionnaire online and immediately receive your report. Learn more.

More in the Self-Examination Series

Self-Examination, Part 2: How Well Do You Value Strengths in Others?

Self-Examination, Part 3: How Can You Blend to Build Better Relationships?

Devotionals to Read during the New Year

Devotional: A Different Kind of New Year’s Resolution