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Personality and Christianity

I used to take aerobics.

Now, before you get the picture of a really cool 80s class, this was in the 90s. Instead of sweat bands, leg-warmers and Olivia Newton-John’s Physical, think appropriately long t-shirts, tights and C+C Music Factory.  We all “stepped” to “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now),” well, everybody except a girl we’ll call Gina (because that was her name).  Gina was without rhythm by her own proclamation.  Because she knew she could not follow the music or the steps, she brought her walkman (more 90s fun) and listened to the music of her choice while watching the instructor.

Such is life that we step to the beat of our own walkman being that our personalities are unique in the way God has made us.

Do you expect others to look just like you?  Are you critical when another believer doesn’t react the way you do?  A great gift of a creative God is the differences he has weaved purposely in each of us.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “Though we are all Christians together, we are all different… We are all in the same fight, of course, as we share the same common salvation, and have the same common central need. [We shouldn’t] act on the assumption that all Christians are identical in every respect.  They are not, and they are not even meant to be.”

Let’s look at this a little further.  Suppose Gina arrived not only with her own music but her own moves.  She would, in essence, be saying I can’t deal with your music or your moves.  This is how I am.  Deal with it. Her attempts would be the opposite of following the leader.

Personality is a beautiful gift from God, but it is not liberty to treat others however we choose, explaining ourselves away.  Under the Lordship of Christ, we are responsible to who He has called us to be under his will first.

“The natural man is always controlled by his temperament, he cannot help himself; but the difference that regeneration makes is that there is now a higher control even over temperament.  The moment the Holy Spirit enters in, He controls everything including temperament, and so He enables you to function in your own particular way through your temperament.  This is the miracle of redemption.  Temperament remains, but temperament no longer controls.  The Holy Spirit is in control.”  Lloyd-Jones

That’s just the way I am we are prone to say.  And, that is true.  But what Lloyd-Jones is saying is also true. When the Holy Spirit enters our life, our personality no longer controls.  That personality is redeemed.

Do you delight in the personality God has given you?

Have you seen Christ’s redemption in your personality?

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mercy…woman…you landed it! It reminds me of this cartoon I saw a couple of weeks ago on someone’s Facebook:

    So many cry…”why don’t I hear Him?” Well how about shutting off everything that makes you – “different” around you (and I’m generalizing “you” here…not pinpointing you, Suzanne 😉 ) …which honestly only makes you more like everyone else (because they’re distracted with their own “differences”, too)…and honestly listening just for Him?

    January 9, 2012
    • So true, Marni. C.S. Lewis said, “Give up yourself, and you will find your real self.” Personalities are so cool and even shine brighter when we’re “listening just for Him” like you said.

      January 9, 2012
  2. I might be able to keep a beat, but at times I feel like an awkward Gina. Until reading this, I was denying a bit that I’ve been wanting to dance like others. Thanks for reminding me that I can follow the same Leader and hear my own music. Wow. Liberating on another level for me to have that metaphor. Many thanks!!

    January 9, 2012
    • It’s liberating to me, too, Sara. We’re all a little weird and awkward in our own right and should celebrate that. Glad it helped!

      January 9, 2012
  3. Miriam #

    Loved this and will probably use part of it in my ladies bible study this Thursday night. So thankful for Gods amazing GRACE and that we can be controlled and led by the holy spirit if we are willing to yield and surrender our lives. The most amazing part is that as we yield we can become a vessel God cam use. Precious niece, I am so grateful you are yielded so you can bless all of us with your writings.

    January 9, 2012
    • Thanks, Aunt Miriam. I’m glad you can use it. There are certainly aspects of my personality that, when not controlled by the Spirit, are unappealing. For that matter, they might be unappealing when they are submitted. Grace for both! Thankful for your words.

      January 9, 2012

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