The Spiritual Audit™
The Spiritual Audit™ is a simple assessment that we created with a team of experienced theologians, trained psychologists, pastors, and ordinary men and women who want to help you to grow in virtue and become the person that God created you to be. Currently The Spiritual Audit™ and the complete Will Power Advantage™ Action Plan for each temperament is available in The WillPower Advantage™ book, by Tom Peterson and Dr. Ryan Hanning. Below is a Beta Version of the assessment. This Assessment is for personal use only.
The Spiritual Audit™ has three components.
1) A review of your strengths and weaknesses.
2) A Temperament identifier and 3) A virtue finder. These three components are meant to give you an increased self-awareness of how your temperament impacts growing in virtue. Recommendations for growing in virtue are found in the last chapter of The WillPower Advantage™.
Before beginning the Spiritual Audit™ please take a few minutes to read more about temperament, character and virtue below.
A Brief Look into temperament, character, and virtue.
Many of us are still discovering our strengths and weaknesses. That is okay, and in reality, it can take a lifetime to learn what all of your strengths and weaknesses are.
Strengths can be things that come naturally to you and, as a result, often do not require a lot of physical or mental energy to acquire. These are the things people might say come easy to you. Sometimes they are the result of a gift you were born with, for example musical aptitude in a person with perfect pitch or athletic ability in a person with excellent eye-hand coordination. Strengths can also be things that you have learned to do well over time through much effort. These things do require a lot of physical and mental energy even if we have a natural aptitude for them. A piano virtuoso might have innate musical ability, but it took years of hard work for her to become one of the best pianists in the world. Even if he’s a natural athlete, the golf pro practiced for years to be at the top of his game.
There are also strengths that people acquire without having an inborn gift. Perhaps you know a superb administrator who can manage multiple tasks and people with expert care and efficiency; yet for this person these skills did not come naturally. Rather he worked hard to learn them and exerts significant effort to use them. There are also supernatural strengths, special graces given to us by God that help us to fulfill the mission He has given us. Such abilities have no natural explanation. More typical for the Christian, however, is the grace that allows him to stretch beyond what he thinks are his natural limits. What Saint Paul said about himself is true for all of us: “I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).
When we practice a strength, whether natural or developed, it can become a good habit, or virtue. A virtue is a disposition to choose the good, the beautiful, and the true, in other words, the things that make us truly happy.
Like strengths, weaknesses can arise from inborn tendencies, and some of these are related to our temperament. Cholerics, for example, are prone to speaking before thinking because they are action-oriented. Sanguines are prone to being overly optimistic because they want to make themselves and others happy. Melancholics tend to hold grudges because they are intense and deep. Phlegmatics avoid sometimes necessary confrontation because they want peace.
Some weaknesses are the result of our biochemistry. Certain groups have a higher incidence of alcoholism, for example. Other weaknesses can result from not enough discipline in our upbringing or conversely discipline that was too harsh. Violence begets more violence, as the saying goes. Sometimes we are not aware of a weakness until we undergo some kind of trial. A person might not realize he has an anger problem, for example, until he comes unglued at a stressful job. As with strengths, over time our weaknesses can become habits, or even compulsions, that rob us of peace and joy. If left unchecked, they can turn into vices that prevent us from choosing those things that are truly good for us.
Hopefully this information helps you to think a little more about your strengths and weaknesses. With it in mind, continue to the next question.