Have you ever noticed there some people you just don’t seem go get along with? They seem to rub you the wrong way. They get under your skin. Their personality seems the opposite of yours. You can’t agree on anything. For example, you are in a group project in class. One of your group members wants to play around. They appear not to be serious about the project at all. You on the other hand are working on your part of the project right from the start. You will play when it is done. Yet, you know if they don’t get their part done, your grade will suffer. You try to tell them to hurry up and work on their part of the project, but they don’t want to. Then suddenly the night before it is due, they get to work on it and by morning their part is all done. One group member may be very organized. Another appears to be disorganized. One group member is more creative and loves to do the things that are artsy on the project. Another group member wants to do spreadsheets, graphs and calculations. Working with others can be very frustrating. Even just dealing with friends can get frustrating. The problem is that everyone has been given by God some basic personality traits. We learn other traits from our parents and other family members as we are growing up. If we are a Christian, we are hopefully learning to be more like Christ and develop His personality traits. Even being a Christian can add new dynamics to our abilities to deal with other’s personalities.
Many times we have a tendency to point the finger and blame the other person for our personality conflicts and disagreements. The reality is that it is usually both people that are to blame. God has given us our personalities and gifts and skills so we can work together to produce the best for Him. We need each other, even when the other person seems so different. We are all parts of the same body when we are Christians. I am the foot, you are the arm, etc. Can’t be a whole being without each other. Read I Corinthians 12: 12 -28.
12 For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 14 So the body is not one part but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted. 19 And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? 20 Now there are many parts, yet one body. 21 So the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” Or again, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 But even more, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those parts of the body that we think to be less honorable, we clothe these with greater honor, and our unpresentable parts have a better presentation. 24 But our presentable parts have no need of clothing. Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, 25 so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. 26 So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it. 28 And God has placed these in the church:
What we have to do as Christians when we are working with other Christians or even non-Christians is learn to understand our personality temperament and those we are working with. That will help us to better cope with those personality issues. You won’t be so stressed when you have to work with someone who is so different from yourself in the way they do things or think. I know understanding my own temperament and having a general knowledge of others that I deal with has helped me tremendously. We don’t want to be like the World and fight and bicker with each other. We don’t want to settle disputes with revenge or uncooperativeness. We want to glorify God even in handling personality differences. I recommend visiting this website (Going the Distance Adventure Ministry ) and taking your own temperament test. Once you have totaled up the points, then you can click on the link to read about your personality profile.
A couple of words of warning…1) Don’t box people in to what you think they are and condemn them. Instead if you analyze their personality only use it as a tool to help you cope with their way of doing things. 2) Don’t box yourself in with the temperament results. You need to remember that as you grow in the Lord, you will be developing and changing. Your goal is to become Christ-like which would mean that you are a perfect blend of all the positive personality traits. Over time you want to eliminate the negative traits.
Just remember it’s not just them, it’s you too. So take care of your attitudes first and then worry about their attitudes later. Always work to improve your personality traits and move towards Christ-likeness.