Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Personality And Spirituality

Recently I have been reading a book called "Personality Plus" by Florence Litteaur (actually D has been reading it out loud to me hehe). That got me thinking about how personality is related to spirituality. The followings are some of the thoughts:
  • God gives each of us a unique personality. Most of us don't know much about our own personalities. I think knowing more about our personality -- who we are and how we interact with others -- is very important.
  • I Cor. 11:28 says, “Let a man examine himself...”. According to our personalities, our “work” on examining ourselves will differ from another’s. How we perceive reality, how we react to life, how we look at things will impact throughout the frame of our personality. I think knowing our personality type can assist us in knowing how to face difficult situations.
  • No personality type is “good” or “bad”, that none is better or worse than any other. Accepting ourselves is the first step in accepting others. Every one has both strengths and weaknesses.
  • God has given us gifts according to our personality.
Romans 12:4-8:
Ro 12:4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,
Ro 12:5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
Ro 12:6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.
Ro 12:7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach;
Ro 12:8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.


Corry said...

I am having a little trouble with this one. Isn't everyone's personality evil from the start?
Abilities, as I see them, are gifts of God. don't they change/determine one's personality? Applied properly, they change a person and add to the body of Christ. Applied falsely, they support the evil in a person.

Maybe I am not quite grasping the concept of personality and ability.:-)

God's Grace.

Kitty Cheng said...

Hi Corry, I think no personality type is good or bad, but I agree that everyone's personality (as in our human nature)is evil from the start, yet I don't know if our abilities and gifts actually change or determine our personality type.

For example, a sanguine personality type is gifted in dealing with people, whereas a melancholy personality type would have abilities in arts and thinking etc.

Certainly how one's gifts are applied has bearings on the building up of body of Christ or the evil in a person.

Actually what Florence Litteaur writes about in her book regarding personality type are the 4 temperaments of a person, and each temperament has its unique gift or ability associated to it.

Kc said...

Kitty with respect to the body of Christ it may be important to realize the weakness of each type as well with an eye toward support and encouragement. ;-)

Kitty Cheng said...

yes that's so true! Realizing the weakness of each type will help the body of Christ to be more understanding and accepting.

Corry said...

Thanks Kitty, I get the concept now:-)

I think that the weakness of one could be the other one's strength and could compliment eachother. And as both Kc and you pointed out, support, encouragement, understanding and acceptance result in growth of the body of Christ and I think also individually.

God's Grace.

Kitty Cheng said...

Corry, I think it's so important for the body of Christ and individuals to grow as a result of knowing our personalities and abilities.

audrey` said...

Yeah! I agree with you :)
Loving and accepting ourselves is the first step towards loving and accepting others.
All of us are very unique and special. We are made by our Heavenly Father. Just accept the differences with mutual respect and love. Then we'll be more enriched in our interactions and relationships.

Bruce said...

Hello Kitty,
That sounds like a good book.
There are more personalities (per-sonat- sound out)than temperaments.

Did you know that this system was used in Catholic education? It certainly was. I once saw a book by a Dominican (I think it was)on the subject. Of course it goes back to the ancient Greeks. It is still used today in Waldorf/Steiner education.

The Old Masters were fond of the theme. Can you pick the temperaments here by Bosch? Durer also did many engravings on the subject. Bosch's representation shows the lower side of the temperaments- i.e. we could picture them as a serpent, a slug, a dragon or vulture. Similarly too, a John, Luke, Matthew and Mark: representing the qualities of higher elemental persuasion.

Kind Regards,

Kitty Cheng said...

Audrey, yes we do need to accept the differences with mutual respect and love.

Kitty Cheng said...

Bruce, thanks for the info. Bosch's representation looks very interesting.