Friday, 08 October 2010
By Bonnie at Faith Barista
Is an individual’s personality set in stone or do other factors influence behavior? I say faith trumps everything because faith can actually change your personality.
When I was single, I’d see tons of articles about dating written to help everybody assess a potential girlfriend or boyfriend’s personality. We wouldn’t want to waste time going out with someone whose personality was incompatible with ours, would we?
After I got married, the topic of personality didn’t die down. It only intensified, as marriage experts offered relationship advice, based on the presumption that people really don’t change all that much.
Now that I’m a mom of two boys, I see the same sort of fascination with personality applied to the parenting. I was surprised to read about a study published last month on LiveScience that asserts one’s personality is set for life by 1st grade.
While there are genetic as well as psychological and social factors that create deep impressions into our personality make-up during early childhood, the role of faith is missing from the whole conversation.
Faith is the biggest catalyst to changing our personality, but it’s not all that popular. That’s because faith is not intuitive. Self-improvement is.
I used to feel defeated trying to get rid of negative traits I saw in my personality. There was always an initial boost whenever I tried something new to become less stressed and more relaxed. But whatever I did could never be sustained indefinitely.
Failure didn’t stop me. I kept myself busy, inspired to change, always up to something new.
This all felt very self-empowering, until I hit a perfect storm of problems. Fears of losing my job, a growing number of disappointments and spiritual confusion over what God was doing in my life did a number on my personality.
I lost my spark.
You wouldn’t have known on the outside. Everything was chugging along fine. But I felt the truth inside. Something had changed deep within. I had lost my joy.
Joy is the sunshine that brings our God-given, unique personalities to life. Without this light, everything feels flat and muted.
I was working way too hard inside my heart.Type Faith
I don’t have a short story to tell about how I got my spark back. God took me through a dusty road through the wilderness, stripped down to my resources.
Real changes, good or bad, usually happen like a slow drip from the pipe underneath the kitchen sink. Before you know it, you feel a damp puddle where the paper towels used to be stocked. I became more Type A than ever before. I focused on problem solving to get rid of the uncertainty. I fell into stretches of stress and anxiety, managing everything but my inner fears.
It was there I discovered God can restore my spiritual personality.
I learned to depend on Him. I learned to wait, to listen, and to surrender. It became more important to me to feel God’s presence than to have my problems solved.
I didn’t think it was possible to recapture the easy going and care-free naivitee I always wanted. But, God created a new spark in me despite my unbelief. He’s created something that wasn’t there before. He restored love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control in new ways.
I’m no longer Type A. I just became that way because I wanted to control my circumstances.
Once I realized my efforts were futile, I began to see God take control of me. I became Type F (Faith).
It’s better to consider every thing a loss, in order to see God at work in me.
I am now learning to discover the personality God designed in me.
Faith is what unwraps it a little more every day.
People can change because God changes people. If we believe He can do it, this belief can open up growth. We can be confident God still uses us as we are, while trusting He’s creating something new at the same time.
I want to share a wonderful spiritual principle with you that has given me great hope. It is a promise Jesus makes to develop our Christ-like personality, as we depend on Him.
The Law of Fruitfulness:
“If a man remains in me and I in him,
then he will bear much fruit.”
~ John 15:5
How has your faith changed your personality?
Have you seen the “law of fruitfulness” in your life, as you depended on Jesus?