Personality. We all have one but which one dominates our lives? I remember being required to attend several personality training sessions over the years on more than one occasion. The first few times I was exposed to it, I found it fascinating. You know, you take the blind test and then are amazed when the results are revealed. My co-workers would nod in agreement that the test was accurate in identifying my primary personality.
For years growing up I had no idea that I was a “type A” personality. I just thought of myself as a “go-getter.” I struggled to understand people that did not take action or refused to be denied. As I got older, I embraced being a “type A” because of all the success and accomplishments it had brought me.
Over the past few months, God has revealed to me that He created me to be so much more than a highly effective type A personality. God desires for me to live as a type D(devoted) personality going forward.
Yes, the person with the type A personality may achieve many things. However, there are some thorns that come along with it based on my experience. See if any of these thorns resonate with you.
Thorns of the type A personality
Anxiety is the first thorn, and one of the most destructive. I remember the mental torture that I used to put myself through on Sunday nights. I tossed and turned all night thinking about projects,meetings,or things I needed to get done the following day.
Many nights I worried about things that never even came to fruition! Look at what the Apostle Paul implores us do with our thoughts. Instead of living anxious, the devoted Christian should apply what the Apostle Paul prescribes in Philippians.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know unto God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
So which personality seems better to you so far? I’ll take “type D” please.
Speaking of being content, Ambition is another prickly little thorn of the type A personality. For myself, I was always focused on achieving more. I felt it was never enough. My ambition to succeed was all I could think about at the expense of excluding God. Looking back, there was not much evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in my life.
The devoted Christian should continuously be dying to self each day in honor of the Savior you serve. God must be the focus of everything you do whether it is raising your children, serving in the church, and even your writing. I remind myself every time I sit down at my computer that I’m writing for an audience of One. It’s my prayer that hearts are convicted, spirits are lifted and encouraged, but most importantly I want God to be glorified.
If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up His cross daily and follow Me. Luke 9:23
Painful thorn for Myself
Being Impatient is a thorn that often needs pruning. Patience is something I have struggled with mightily ever since I can remember. Yes, there is the aspect of waiting on God, but I want to dig down deeper and also talk about patience with other people.
Whether it be a family member, friend, or co-worker, the frustrations that begin to simmer silently can explode in a heartbeat at the expense of someone’s feelings and your testimony. I realized the negative impact of impatience a few years ago. I had asked for help with something that I could not do myself, and the person agreed to help, but in my opinion it was taking too long.
I began to feel that slow burn simmering on the back of my neck, and all kinds of crazy thoughts running through my head. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks…this person is helping me tremendously! Are my feelings representative of Christ and His patience with me?
The next morning, I began to memorize the passage in Galatians regarding the fruit of the Spirit. I’ve committed those verses to memory for those moments when I begin to feel my patience slipping away. The devoted Christian must exude a spirit of gratitude, kindness, and most importantly, patience. When I think about how long God waited for me to seek Him first with a committed heart, tears well up in my eyes.
Waiting on God is currently the course I am experiencing now. God gave me the word “patience” for 2017 at the beginning of the year. At that moment when He spoke to me, I closed my eyes and asked Him again, “Are you sure God?”
From days of old, they have not perceived or heard by ear, nor has the eye seen a God like you, who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. Isaiah 64:4
There is a genuine comfort knowing and believing that God is control of every situation. Everything must pass through His omnipotent hands before it gets to you. Trust God’s perfect plan for your life. You can only see what’s right in front of you, but God sees your life in glorious panoramic view.
Every rose has more than one thorn, and there are additional thorns when it comes to the type A personality. There is seeking the Approval of others, always Attempting to please, and over Analyzing everything you do.
Another thorn that is sometimes overlooked is, being Aloof to the hurt your personality traits can cause to others. If are not careful, there is a selfishness that unknowingly seeps into the life of the type A person as they seek to accomplish.
God desires that you live selflessly, and show kindness to everyone in all that you do. The type D(devoted) Christian should be blooming with the beautiful petals of God’s love and be a shining example of a transformed life.
When living as a devoted Christian, there will be relentless, difficult battles because spiritual warfare begins in the mind. This is not something we must not take lightly.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh… but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses…we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
I did not write this to discourage those of you that exhibit type A personality traits from time to time, or more often than you’d like. Let this be a reminder of how easy it is for these debilitating traits to take hold in your mind. These traits can slow the producing of beautiful fruit for God via your life. Do you desire to live a more fruitful life for Christ?