CREATED BY GOD
Picture a dot on the end of a needle; that’s how small you were when we were created by God. Inside that dot is all the DNA coding for who you are: your eye color, hair texture, finger print pattern – just to name a few- and it even includes your personality. What’s your personality like? Are you more open? Conscientious? Outgoing? Agreeable? Aggressive? Self-centered? A combo of a few? Whatever your personality, you are God created. God created our innermost being: our thoughts, feelings, convictions, beliefs. King David came to know this and wrote in Psalms: Certainly you made my mind and heart; you wove me together in my mother’s womb. I will give you thanks because your deeds are awesome and amazing. You knew me thoroughly. Psalms 139:13-14
There is a lot of discussion around personality and personality traits in both the secular and Christian world. I was explaining to my wife about my research around personalities and the different personality traits like aggressive and self-centered. My wife asked me if personalities are created by God, are you saying He created people to be self-centered? This is what I shared with her, “of course not …”
When God created us, He created an awareness of self and a desire to care for yourself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church and we are members of His body. Ephesians 5:29-30
In the beginning, when God created man, he was perfect and his personality traits were disciplined. They didn’t become undisciplined until man disobeyed God. As a result sin entered the world and our God given personalities became corrupt. A desire to care for yourself became a desire to care only about yourself … Self-centeredness. Whatever good we see in our personalities is of God …. Whatever bad we see in ourselves is a result of our sin nature. So what are we to do? Can we change our personalities?
Well, have you ever heard the expression “Can a leopard change its spots?” I’m sure most of us have. I believe the same thing applies to our personalities. They are a God given trait and any attempt to change them is impossible. Just like it is impossible for a leopard to change its spots. Spots are what make a leopard unique and we should embrace the unique personality that God has given us. But we can’ t stop there. We also must deal with the undisciplined side of us. As I put it, “we can’t change our personality but we can change our methods.”
GIVEN FREE CHOICE
You see, God gave you and me the ability to choose. From the very beginning Adam and Eve were given a choice between choosing the tree of life or the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden—except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” Genesis 2:16-17
Our new birth in Christ is the method in which God conforms us into the image of His son, Jesus. But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even them that believed on His name. John 1:12. God has given each of us a unique personality but without Christ it’s undisciplined. God has made us all unique down to our fingerprints. But those of us that are in Christ have a new nature. Our new nature allows us to change our methods. Those of us who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior are not to copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Here is a recent example of what I mean by not changing your personality but changing your methods. I was driving through Brooklyn, New York at 12:30 pm. At this time of the day it is not considered to be rush hour traffic, but you could of fooled me! It was bumper to bumper for miles. A fifteen minute drive took an hour and a half. If you left a space of two feet between you and the car in front of you that was too much. Someone will now cut you off and cut in front of you. So for me to reach the Holland Tunnel and leave New York City I had to become an aggressive driver. Just ask my wife, she’ll tell you that I don’t have an aggressive personality. But you would not have been convinced by my method of driving that day. My driving had to change in order to navigate through China Town and get to the Holland Tunnel. Any passive type of driving would have caused even more of a traffic jam or possibly an accident. If any of you have ever have driven in New York City you know exactly what I’m talking about. While I don’t have an aggressive personality, I do have a humorous one. So it didn’t surprise my wife when I said with a smile, “Just funnel into the tunnel, people,” as drivers are impatiently blowing their horns, yelling, and using not nice hand gestures as eight lanes of traffic have to merge into two lanes to go through the tunnel.
EMBRACE THE PERSONALITY GOD HAS BLESSED YOU WITH
Knowing God is the first pillar in knowing yourself. God knew us even before our birth and each of our personalities is as uniquely different as our finger prints. I am called to glorify Jesus with my God given personality. Our different personalities is what makes the body of Christ so unique. While our personalities are predetermined, our methods are not. Everyday each of us are presented with choices. Remember, we all have the ability to choose. What I have learned in writing this post is God has placed inside all of mankind’s personality the gift of free will; from babies to adults, we desire to choose for ourselves. As for me and my family I choose to serve The Lord. Joshua said it best when he spoke to Israel: But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15. Don’t allow your personality to get in your way. Let your methods be to always trust God and to obey His word.