Multiple PersonalitiesOctober 2, 2020
multiple personalities. noun. A psychological disorder, in which a person exhibits two or more disassociated personalities, each functioning as a distinct entity.
I have a distinct personality. You have a distinct personality. These are gifts from God, the way He chose to make us. He has also chosen to bring you and me and others into His body -- the church universal, the Bride of Christ -- as well as into to the various specific expressions of His body -- the local church you are a part of.
Each local congregation is a variegated hodgepodge of characters. Paul stated, “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us,” (Romans 12:4-6a, ESV, see also 1 Corinthians 12:12-27).
Since God is absolutely sovereign all the time over everything, I contend that He knows exactly what He’s doing by bringing together each church’s particular mix of personalities. While the expression of distinct "multiple personalities" in an individual is definitely not a good thing (except that no matter where you go you can always have a party!), in the body of Christ it’s not just normal, it’s required.
The significant difference is that we are not disassociated, withdrawn, or detached from one another. We are connected and joined together by God’s grace, functioning within the body as distinct personalities, our efforts united in focus and purpose. By the Holy Spirit, we are not built into the body to be dysfunctional or at odds with each other.
Knowing and embracing this means recognizing that differences in the body of Christ are a good thing. I’m not exactly like you. You’re not exactly like me. Thanks be to God!
Diversity is God’s idea. We each bring unique God-given perspectives, ways of doing things, and diverse insights into this majestic mix. Just as He exhibits multiple facets of Himself toward one end, so we as a body are one in our variety.
In the body of Christ weaknesses and strengths can be paired for greater effect. Inexperience can be under-girded by experience that builds wisdom. Lack of understanding can be combined with understanding that avoids misunderstanding. Discouragement can be eased with encouragement that brings victory.
If you don’t like the way something is being done in your church, this could be the Holy Spirit prompting you to get involved and apply the gift of your personality to the situation. After all, the Holy Spirit generally avoids empowering us to complain. He does, however, readily empower us to do all we can to build up His body in loving service as His servants.
So, go ahead and be different -- be all you can be in Him in your church! Being different in Him is cool. After all, believers are a peculiar people!
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light,” (1 Peter 2:9, KLV).
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