Perfecting Your Personality

Christianity, unlike the secular view of the person, views the person as created in the image of God but through the Fall having lost our likeness to Him. While proud secularists in the extreme deny any need to change, Christianity starts with the message of sin and imperfection but ends with the promise and hope of total transformation by the Spirit (on this read My Heart Christ’s Home[1]). Christians know we need to grow and change:

Be conformed into the likeness of Christ (Ro 8:29)

Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect (Mt 5:48)

This is a journey, just like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress. It is a journey and it can only be accomplished by God’s grace. We often refer to this as sanctification (the process of being made perfect by the Spirit). This has many different dimensions. We grow in our faith, our trust in the Lord. We grow in our humility, our recognition of our need for him. We fight temptation, growing in holiness. Another area we are called to grow in is our character [personality] (Ro 5:4).

The Lord has created each of us unique and special in our personality, however, even sin has affected this realm and so it must not be left outside of God’s great work of sanctification. Every personality has its strengths and weaknesses. We need to submit both of these to the Lord, the strengths so he might sharpen and use those to greater effectiveness and the weaknesses so that our strengths are not limited by them.

One personality test that I have found very helpful is what is called the “Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator” (to take a free test click here). This world renowned system is uncannily accurate! It notes that there are 16 personality types in the world. Each type is made up of 4 letters that identify primary and secondary traits (you can read more about this online if you are interested). Since I am encouraging you to reflect on your areas for growth I’ll take the lead and openly share my personality as an example (now you can read me like a book—though be careful— as with any generalised indicator no two people are the same even with the same personalities!). I am an ENTJ (see also official website), the rarest personality in the world! Only 2% of people are like me in this respect.

As a result some of my strengths are:

I am efficient, a visionary and a doer, passionate, focused, strong, articulate, a good teacher, often capable, and can quickly and clearly identify an issue and create a plan of attack to solve it, etc.

But my very own strengths can become my greatest weaknesses if I am not careful:

I can too quickly pass people (and their emotions) by, become impatient with people who take longer to process things, can appear intimidating (even if I don’t mean to be), can abhor inefficiencies, and can over all allow my thinking to make it seem that I am cold and indifferent (when that is actually not the case), etc.

While I am a thinker I try very hard to be compassionate, loving and understanding. While a doer I try very hard to be patient and to listen. Most of all, as I am naturally confident, I seek to aim to not misplace my confidence. This is why over the last decade or so the theme of pride and humility in Scripture has become so important to me (and also because it is so to the Biblical worldview!). I want to ensure my confidence is not ill founded, not placed in self but in Christ. I pray that as I seek to humble myself to Him I am becoming meek (Mt 5:5, Nu 12:3): exercising God’s power under God’s control, rather than selfish power in any way I please. These are my challenges and I trust as I am made aware of them I look to Christ to perfect them so that I can become the man of God He wants me to be. It is not easy to lay oneself before the Lord or others and expose our faults, but it is for our benefit (the wise take constructive criticism: Prov 9:8–9).

Whether you end up taking the test or not I hope you can see what is meant about being aware of who you are so that you can allow the Lord to transform all of you, including your personality weakness(es).

May we bring these to the Lord for He is gracious and capable to transform us so as to be able to present us blameless on that great day!

The Lord’s Sweetest Blessings,

Pastor Chris

[1] Also available for purchase on Amazon from £1.50.