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Why We Do What We Do When We Do It

By: Dr. Skip Myers
web posted April 17, 2006
Edgefielddaily.com columnist

Is how you do something more important than what you do? Or is what you do more important than how you do it? Or is it possible that who you do it to is more important than either how or what? Human behavior is as unique as human personality. What we do and how we do it and with whom is an outgrowth of our personality controlled behavior. How’s that for some early morning junior psychology!

Have you ever heard someone say, “That’s just the way I am?”  Disguised in that statement are all sorts of excuses for personality quirks and quite frankly behavioral sins. We don’t like think about the possibility of our personalities needing to be changed. After all, I am who I am and you should be willing to lovingly accept me for who I am. Right? Wrong! 

Life is all about change. If we cease to change then parts of us begin to die. We establish a fear-induced rut where we are only spinning our wheels in one spot without making any progress toward our goals in life. We will change our weight, hair color, fashion style, or friends. But we seldom think about changing our personalities.

Now, before you start focusing on someone else and all that you don’t like about their personalities, look in the mirror. This article isn’t about anyone but this person staring back at you and the one staring back at me. I once had the difficult task of confronting another person about their personality. A group of people had come to me and ask me to speak to this individual about the harsh and irritating manner in which they interacted with others at the church. What a job!

I remember the moment as if it were yesterday. I ask this person what they thought about themselves and how others viewed them. To make a long story short, he accepted the advice about allowing the Lord to shape and mold his personality. He told me he had never given much thought to the way his personality affected his witness for the Lord. He just assumed that doing things for the Lord proved his faithfulness. In his case, the doing was being destroyed by the personality behaviors.

Let’s get to the point! Most of us have never made our personalities a matter of prayer. We simply assume we are who we are. We find people who will tolerate these personality issues and make them our primary associations. Our families, we simply take for granted that they have to love us no matter what we are like. If we begin to make our personalities a matter of faith we will experience the joyful power of the Lord working in our lives like never before.

If you want the what and the how to be effective begin with the why. Find something to use as a foundation for all that you are and do. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17  Start with this one reason: to be able to hand the Lord all we do as an offering to bring Him glory and honor. If we get the why established then it will have the power to effect the how and the what of all that we do.  To do all in the name of Christ means that we do all in such a way that His nature is reflected and noticed in us. Now do you see that if you get the why correct that the what and how will fall into place much easier.

This includes our personalities. If we want everything about us to glorify Jesus it needs to begin with the tools being used. And our personalities are one of the biggest. We only change behavior as we change. Begin by praying about who you are. Let the Lord lead you to trusted friend to help you honestly evaluate your personality. Listen and don’t become defensive. The changes suggested just might open an entirely new avenue of experiencing and serving the Lord which will only heighten the joy in your life.

Look in the mirror and know that what you see God already loves. We love, because He first loved us. I John 4:19  It’s now a matter of becoming more of what He can use to let others know just how awesome He truly is. Remember, of how, what, and why, the greatest is why.

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