Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Personality of The Body!!!

My husband and I have always enjoyed talking about different personalities.  Specifically, we have always enjoyed talking about how amazing (or humorous) God is to bring us together as a couple with perfectly opposite personalities that fit together perfectly.   It's been a common conversation in our home over the years and this month it seems like it's one of the most predominant seeds God is planting in our hearts.  I started to reach out to some of my closest friends and favorite writers for some insight and really had some great conversations....but I think the seed might have just sprouted as I commented on Frank Viola's blog.

I *loved* Frank Viola's Revive Us Again and particularly the chapters involving personalities and spiritual conversation styles.  On this quick blog, Frank Viola writes a quick synopsis:

People are generally wired to lead with one part of their soul. Some are mostly heady/intellectual (mind), others are mostly emotive/feelers (emotions), and others tend toward being mostly volitional/doers (will).
That said, in my Christian experience over the years, I’ve found that . . .
Intellectuals tend to be attracted to Anglicanism, for example.
Emoters tend to be attracted to Pentecostalism/Charismaticism, for example.
Doers tend to be attracted to Baptist churches, for example.

Which got me thinking about how cool God is!   Our Church family that He has brought together has each different personality and denomination represented! There are only 6 of us adults (and 3 kiddos) that meet regularly as a Church – and it’s so cool how God has brought us all from such different “extremes” in theology, doctrine, church experience and personality —- and He IS helping us all move 'center' and away from the outer extremes.

The question I kept asking this week though was, how much of my personality am I going to keep as I surrender to the Lord!? 

WHAT does it look like to "die to self" but still become fully who God designed me to be – including the personality He gifted me with.

And the theory that is sprouting is that I think the diversity of our individual personalities remains in tact!!  Maybe I’m wrong... maybe each individual personality is changed drastically and all of us are shifted to “center" - but I don't think so!!

Jesus, in His perfection,  has the STRENGTHS of EVERY personality and none of the weaknesses of each!! 

(Most personality research shows there are predominantly 4 personalities and everybody has varying combinations of those 4 - usually they have 1 of the 4 as their predominant personality)

So what an amazing personality HE IS – can you even picture a person who knows exactly when to be quiet and when to speak up?  The best listener and best communicator.  Never talking too much.  Never talking too little. On earth He knew when to push forward and when to retreat.  He is perfectly sharp and quick...and...perfectly still and peaceful.

HE IS THE BEST of course and the ONLY one person EVER that will have ALL the STRENGTHS of all the personalities that are recognized and researched now.  One school of thought might be that perhaps as we are built up in Christ through the Church and our relationship with Him — we will all move toward that *same* personality of all strengths and our own personalities will melt away…...

BUT NO NO NO I don’t think that is it!! Maybe I am wrong...but I think that He will keep the diversity of our individual personalities… and our GROWTH, our maturity in Him will mean that the weaknesses of our individual personalities will be less and less!! and the strengths will actually become *more and more* predominant as they are used for Him and are used in His lead and not our own.

YES maybe that is it! MAYBE CORPORATELY we all will operate with HIS personality of all strengths someday!!!! and we ARE HIS Body after all and it's His Spirit living through us - so that makes sense!! 

But individually that can mean that we KEEP the strengths in our own personality — which are balanced out perfectly with the STRENGTHS of others personalities in His Body!!  YES!! I think that’s the answer I’ve been looking for!!! 

So the goal is to allow Him to keep the strengths of our individual personality — but allow Him to show us how to use them for HIS glory and the good of others instead of the self-use we used them for before Him!

And the 2nd part --- He will sharpen away our weaknesses! --- through the FRICTIONING that happens in our Church families that are full of different personalities that rub against each other!!!! :)   As iron sharpens iron.....

The journey:  die to self through a daily surrender to the Lord and through that He will bring out the full strengths of the personality He designed us individually to be.   His Spirit living through each one will bring out the strengths of the personality He gifted each one with!  No ONE will ever be the perfect personality in themselves --- but TOGETHER with His Body - we are being built up into the PERFECT personality. 

I will try to write some follow up posts to this with specific examples of how this has played out in our Church family. 

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