For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 2 Peter 1:5-7
We live in a fallen world, and we are all filled with sin. Sin affects our relationships and personality, the way we treat people, and the way they treat us. Yet, even in sin and temperament differences, we have the choice to make a difference and we do that by growing in Christ. So, are you? When we are growing in Him, and producing Fruit and Character that glorifies our Lord, we are exercising the true, important substance of our personality that shows we have been touched by Christ and are able to touch others, too.
Discussion Questions (be honest):
- What does it mean to be a mature Christian? What are you willing to do about it?
- Are you an “introvert” (shy person) or an “extrovert” (outgoing person)? What are some of the positive and negative features of each?
- You were made with a unique personality, formed for the purpose and reason of glorifying Christ. What can you do to learn about your personality and temperament so you can generate more of the “produce” of the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:21-22)?
- How and why is character the most significant aspect of your personality? What can you do to improve your character?
Here are some practical and important “do’s” and “don’ts” that I have learned over the years, which can help you determine if you are on the right path with how you are with others!
Hopefully, these suggestions will help you in the process of improving who and how you are. Perhaps, you will see something you had not thought of or have previously considered unimportant. Then, you can identify any flaw in your spiritual walk.
- DO smile; it costs nothing and is always appreciated!
- DON’T ignore people, even when you do not want to talk; be friendly when someone says “Hello!” It is not about how you feel; it is about how you are supposed to be.
- DO make people feel important. Make each person feel that he/she is special and he/she is the most important person around!
- DON’T brag! No one likes a person who is full of self! Be an honest and humble person! It is far better that people find out about your achievements and abilities from sources other than you.
- DO have a sense of humor! Laugh and people will laugh with you; if all you do is cry, you will cry alone!
- DON’T always have problems, troubles, or need help; you will soon find yourself alone! We all have problems and need help; be discerning about knowing when to ask for help and when you are being a pest. The decision is based on whether you are seeking attention or a relationship.
- DO encourage people! Tell others what you like about them, or something they are doing well. Encouragement is the fuel that moves the engine of the church.
- DON’T criticize or cut people down, including yourself! There is a difference between humbleness and a self-demeaning attitude.
- DO have an interest in many things. Be an interesting person, and people will be interested in you!
- DON’T grab the best, biggest, and most for yourself; give others a break! (unless you are a five-year-old!)
- DO meet strangers, although it may be difficult. You could make a great, new friend by being friendly to someone you do not know! We have to be willing to take risks as well as be discerning.
- DON’T make fun of others when they make a mistake or do something dumb! Be the first one to go to them with encouragement.
- DO help others when they have a problem and share what you have with others! We are to be the people who give attention, not try to take it all of the time.
- DON’T have a bad temper or be an angry person looking for an argument or a fight! Temperance is far better than temper!
- DO look good, clean, neat, and well groomed! It was Benjamin Franklin who said, cleanliness is next to godliness. The theology is off, but the practice will be true.
- DON’T blame others for their mistakes, or worse, for yours! Be a person who takes responsibility, even if it is not your fault.
- DO keep a confidence. If someone tells you something, keep it to yourself; be trustworthy! You will never develop the essential quality of trust if you are a gossiper. There is only one thing that God hates more than gossip, and that is pride, so be on your guard against such actions.
- DON’T be too cool! Cool people are never popular people; they are too cool!
- DO listen and be an encourager! Listening is a sweet fruit that is needed by all. It says that you care, and that others are important.
- DON’T over-correct or micromanage people! Remember to first take the plank out of your own eye.
- DO take a joke and be a good sport! People who are teased a lot usually get that way because they have not learned how to take a joke and they over-react, spurring on the teasing.
- DO remember names! It shows others that they are important. The sweetest sound to someone is his or her own name.
- DON’T be loud and obnoxious!
- DO thank people!
- And always, always operate yourself in the parameters of the Fruit of the Spirit and Love (1 Corinthians 13; Colossians 1; 2 Peter 1:5-7)
How we treat others will be reflected in how we treat our spouse and visa versa!
Consider how you would like to be treated. You are a friendly person when you can be yourself in the unique and special way that God created you. Be authentic and real. At the same time, be tempered by godly character so the Fruit of the Spirit is real and flowing through you! Taking your cue from Galatians 5:22-25, make sure verses 19-21 do not happen to you!
One of the key aspects in helping you have a better marriage is by improving yourself and your personality. This is reflected by how much time you spend in improving your spiritual life! This is what builds the fullness, character, and love we have been called to produce to build your home.