The Bible and your Personality
Posted by commendatori on February 17, 2011
The Bible And You: So many Christians are experiencing stress, despair, depression, discouragement and defeat today. But it does not have to be so. That is not what His love planned for them. What then is the answer to living a victorious life? It can’t be a problem with the Word of God, because God is perfect. That is correct. The problem is the human personality. This is why Jesus said: “Verily I say unto you. That you who have followed me in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His Glory, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28).”
The study of the human personality has been vast and has produced many and varied opinions, theories and hypotheses. Even larger than the mountain of research and statements on the human personality, is the question of what causes varying personalities? Is it nature, or is it nurture? The experts have yet to answer these questions to anyone’s satisfaction. Many terms have been coined to define personality: e.g. “personality is the ability to elicit positive reactions from other people in one’s typical dealings with them.” Already there is a problem: What is meant by positive reactions, as what might be perceived as positive to one person, might not be for another, and; even more importantly, what is meant by typical? What is normalcy? What is normal for one culture is unacceptable in another. Tarzan is alright in the jungle, but in New York? There have been many definitions to personality – but little agreement.
It is accepted that psychodynamic and behavioural theories would disagree as to what information is relevant, but they would and do agree on one point: People do not act out of free will. Even those choices that seem to us most personal and major – where we will go to college, whom we will marry, what movie we will go to, what decision to make in a given situation, “are not free choices, but predictable responses to prior circumstances.” There is a saying: People spend half their lives making the wrong decisions, and the other half regretting it. Oh what a pity. Especially when it does not have to be so. There is new life. All things can become new. How? It would take years for you to examine all the discoveries of the human personality, all the books that have been written on the topic, and then all that the Bible says of the human personality, and all the problems and the solutions. The Bible And You has done all the work for you and covers all the findings on the human personality, all that has been said about it and what to do. Take for instance, Freud’s teachings on the id, the ego and the superego. The id is the naughty one, he sits on your shoulder and tell you to think, say and do wrong things, the superego is the “voice of conscience” who tells you not to think, say, and do wrong things, and the ego makes the decision. Does this sound familiar to you? Suppose we call the id, the devil, the superego, God’s Word, and the ego, the one who makes the decision, would you understand Freud better? What of Freud’s defense mechanisms? Repression, projection, displacement, denial, reaction formation, rationalization, fixation, regression, and sublimation. Have you ever used one of these? What of Erikson’s Stages of Development? Have you ever sat with someone and listened to them pour out their grief about the things that happened to them when they were growing up? For example, it has been found that basic trust and optimism are formed in the first year of a person’s life, usually from their primary care-giver, and this can affect the individual’s trust and mistrust attitudes. In the last years of a person’s life the crisis is on integrity Vs. despair – perspective, satisfaction with one’s past life, and wisdom. Ever met someone who found it hard to believe the Lord loves them because of some event that occurred in their life? Ever observed how absorbed old people are with the past, and marveled at their wisdom? Are there critical stages to a person’s development from an infant to a full grown adult? One of the most amazing factors you will discover as you go over this material, is that the Bible said it first. Man only discovers truth that is already there. It is not that truth changes, but that we make discoveries. But man has a way of putting a different name to what God’s Word has said and calling it their own discovery. A kind of plagiarism that they get away with because God is not mean spirited? What of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, only he missed the most important one -the need to worship. Look around you in this world, and read all the history books and then answer a very basic question: “What has caused all the wars and major disagreements?” Maslow ends with the need for self-actualization. Have you met someone that was self-actualized, and was still lacking and seeking? Still unsatisfied, and discontented? Is there a Christ- actualization? Is this what the Bible means by regeneration? Behold, all things become new? The learned apostle, Paul spoke of the breadth, and length and depth and height (Eph. 3:18). Ready to move into happiness? Click here to order.