I’m glad that when God made us all in his image, he made us each uniquely. And there’s a lot of freedom in the way we can express ourselves too. But there are certain personalities that are unhealthy if pushed too far. There needs to be moderation. Here are 5 common personas that we need to avoid in and out of the church.
1. The Pessimist
Also known as, “Mr. Negative” – that guy who just complains about everything in life. This includes their job, their boss, their kids, their parents, their church, their car, their neighbor, and the list goes on and on. Pessimists frown all the time, and never seem to see the light of day. They are usually critical about everyone and everything but themselves. Some things are literally impossible to be pessimistic about (economy, government), but we need perspective. The cross has wiped away all our sins and put us with an unbreakable relationship with God. There is always something to be thankful about.
2. The Know-it-all
Just like the Pessimist, the know-it-all is a proud person. They are also judgmental about everyone, and they think the world revolves around #1 (themselves). Everything they do is meant to boost their ego – how good and deserving they are. More interestingly, the know-it-all can appear very humble on the outside, but totally rotten on the inside. But the cracks are apparent – instead of beating others, they falsely beat themselves. They constantly announce to others their piety rather than announcing to God privately. The Pharisee in Jesus’ parable did just such a thing (Luke 18:9-14).
Do we flaunt humility like a Pharisee?
Sadly, I fall into this trap frequently. As the old saying goes, with great power, comes great responsibility. Our responsibility is to edify others with our knowledge (1 Corinthians 8:1).
3. The Clown
I’m not talking about clowns as a career (in fact, I listen comedian Phil Callaway every morning!), but as a personality. You know, the person who takes every situation and tries to brush it off using humor. Opposite to the pessimist, they take nothing seriously. Someone angry at you whether co-worker, boss, or church member? brush it aside with a good laugh. The clown uses jokes in every situation, good or bad such that you have no idea when you can take them seriously. The jokes usually are an attempt to hide their insecurities. Compare this to what it says in Ephesians 4:29 – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths…” Yes we do not need to take ourselves too seriously, but we can’t take ourselves too lightly either.
4. The Obsessionist
The type of person that’s overtly addicted to that one thing. It could be sports, or tv, exercise, food, relationships, youtube – and that’s all they talk about. It’s okay to have hobbies, but not to the point where they consume our lives. Ecclesiastes 7:18 warns that the man who fears God avoids all extremes. There’s only one exception to this – loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Our pursuit to find God is the only obsession that can be pushed to an extreme.
5. The Doubter
I like to call this person, “Mr. Maybe”. Their favorite answers are, “I don’t know” and “maybe this or that”. Maybe I should join you for lunch, maybe not. Mr. Maybe wants to play both sides of the fence. They never reach conclusions, and only concede on what the masses decide on. When you ask them what they believe, they are never sure. That includes asking for things in prayer.
Gamailiel (Acts 5, pictured above) was the ultimate example of “Mr. Maybe”. Maybe these Christians following Jesus are right, but maybe they are wrong he reasoned. His disciple Saul was the exact opposite of “Mr. Maybe” and was convinced all Christians were evil. Guess who God used most.
The Bible warns us against this. Jesus even said, “let your yes be yes, and your no be no” (Matthew 5:37). So then, we need to act with conviction and confidence. Doubt makes poor leaders, especially those in the home.
It’s not that we don’t need a little humor, hobbies, pessimism, knowledge, or doubt in our lives, but rather when we allow them to rule who we are, that we begin to act less like our Lord and Saviour – Jesus Christ.
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