Personality Types and the Pursuit of Christian Growth
Personality Types and the Pursuit of Christian Growth

Personality Types and the Pursuit of Christian Growth

It’s been on my mind to share some thoughts about our peculiar personality predispositions and tendencies and how this impacts our pursuit of Christlikeness as followers of Jesus.

One truth I have found is that when we become believers, our personhood is not erased. For example, according to Meyer Brigg’s Personality Type Indicator, I am an INTJ-A — Architect. And this is not some arbitrary classification system. These personality types have peculiarities to each and are often hard to ignore. An architect for example is Introverted and Judgemental and these are not the best of traits, I believe. These peculiarities as it were make some habits easy and some tough.

Now, the bible also has its ‘traits compendium’ for believers. There are traits that a Christian should possess and there are some a Christian shouldn’t possess. For example, an Architect may be tempted to recluse into their shell, be irritable, and be judgemental yet the Bible says anyone irrespective of their personality type must not be any of these. Another type is peculiarly tempted to be emotionally incontinent and be a validation seeker from people, yet the Bible says, this must not be us, no matter our personality traits.

Personality types have peculiarities to each and are often hard to ignore. You could be Introverted and irritable, or emotionally incontinent. The bible however has its ‘traits compendium’ for believers. What then? Click To Tweet

As I mentioned, these predispositions and tendencies are ingrained into you. Your personhood and specific sinful tendencies don’t vanish automatically post-salvation. And these are not mere issues of ignorance about the truth of the gospel (though they are in part) they are issues of personhood that eats to the core of who we are. What then?

The approach of the believer to addressing these sinful predispositions that they find in themselves must not be: “that is just the way I am, this is me, I can’t help it.”.
For example, one cannot say that he will stop fellowshipping with other believers because they tend to be a loner. Rather, God expects that we exert ourselves unto Godliness and growth into Christlikeness and submit to a community of believers.

The approach of the believer to addressing sinful predispositions must not be: “that is just the way I am, I can’t help it. Rather, God expects that we exert ourselves unto Godliness and submit to a community of believers Click To Tweet

Also, the bible does not spare us from taking the responsibility to reshape our conduct because of these predispositions. It sees every act or trait, not in line with the will and standard of God as one that stems from the old man – the sinful nature. This is very helpful in our struggle against these ‘sins that easily beset us;’ we must understand that every peculiarity of ours that’s not Christlike has its cause in our fallenness and old sinful nature. Therefore, the believer is not permitted to drop out of this vie for Christlikeness and accept defeat.

We must constantly by the help of the spirit and God’s word mortify these ungodly tendencies. The one who is prone to anger must constantly exert himself to produce the fruits of perseverance, longsuffering and patience; the one prone to melancholy must pursue joy and the anxious one must cast his cares and make supplications till the peace of God rules their heart.

We must constantly by the help of the spirit and God’s word mortify these ungodly tendencies. The one who is prone to anger must constantly exert himself to produce the fruits of perseverance, longsuffering and patience Click To Tweet

In conclusion, I’ll restate the line of reasoning in this article. First, we have tendencies that are ungodly and they don’t seem to vanish post-salvation. However, the bible gives no room for Impunity, every ungodly trait is a vestige of our sinful nature.

Fortunately, we have the mortifying power of the indwelling spirit post-salvation, we can fight these tendencies and win even though they seem too much to be a part of us to be conquered. As Christians, we cannot throw in the towel in our pursuit of Christian growth, we must by the spirit mortify these tendencies and grow in Christ.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Gal 5:22-25

Micheal is an Occupational Therapist in training. Committed to the gospel of Christ, passionate about the integration of Christian theism and science
Share this post:

5 Comments

  1. Daniel Obisanya

    Thank you for this, Sir!
    I have also thought about this subject many times and I love how you have been able to come up with such a beautiful piece to explain it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.