Our personality is part of what makes us who we are.
When someone mentions different things to us that involve our personality, we often say, “Well, that’s just the way I am. My mother was like that.”
And that is true in a sense. That is the way you are. And your mother may have been the one who had a huge impact on why your personality is the way it is. However, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t want to work on aspects of our personality that are impeding our growth, next-level assignments, and relationships with ourselves and others in general.
What did Paul say about our right to do things?
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.
1 Corinthians 6:12
There are both strengths and weaknesses to any personality.
We have four learned stress responses: fight, flight, freeze, and fawn.
Let’s take the first personality type of the Enneagram for example:
Type 1: The Perfectionist
With this personality type, the fight response looks like expecting perfectionism out of other people when you are under extreme stress or trauma. And yes, the stress or traumatic event is what caused it.
Subjectively, a person on the outside looking in may say, “Empathize”.
And yes, empathizing is what we are supposed to do. Now, look at the situation objectively.
Can you imagine being expected to be perfect when you are in pain as well?
This is where and why partnering up and powering with the Holy Spirit is necessary. Expecting perfection out of an imperfect human being, particularly during the time of crisis places the individual on the outside in a precarious situation. Do they interact with the perfectionist, or do they distance themselves until the extreme stress and or traumatic event has passed?
What the perfectionist doesn’t understand at the time is that this fight response of theirs has taken the place of self-care and self-assessment of emotions, needs, etc.
This is not for the purposes of condemnation, but for empathy, knowledge, and understanding how the weaknesses of our personalities affect others so we can learn and grow.
For it is by grace(A) you have been saved,(B) through faith(C)—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works,(D) so that no one can boast.(E)
Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV
Until Next Time,
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