By Chris North
How well do you know yourself? Have you done all the personality assessments? Which of the sixteen personalities are you? What are your top five strengths? Do you know your enneagram number (and the number of nearly everyone around you)? Great! Now let me ask you another question. Are there areas of your life you feel stalled? Do you have a vision that seems impossible for you to accomplish? Do you ever find yourself saying “I’m so afraid” or “I could never do that” or “I want to but that’s just not who I am”. If so, your vision is suffering from an easily solvable problem.
Ephesians 4:22-24 says that we are to “put off the old self and put on the new self.” Ephesians is one of my favorite books because Paul is not writing to address sin, heresy or division like other books but rather to strengthen and encourage believers and friends who are doing well in the faith. I have always read this passage to mean to put off our old self (not saved) and put on our new self (saved). But if Paul is writing to believers who are doing well, could it actually mean more? Could there be something there for all of us?
Could Paul be telling us we can actually change our personalities. How on earth do we change our personality? Good news, we’re doing it all the time. Have you ever seen a person when they get a promotion vs. when they get cut off in traffic? We’re changing our personalities all the time. Usually we just do it based on circumstance rather than choice. Our personalities are just a consistent cultivation of choices we’ve made to keep us feeling safe, comfortable, and to solicit approval. Personalities are learned behaviors, not inherent destiny. So what is the part of your “personality” you’d like to defy to begin cultivating the new self? Who will you be this year? And who’s approval will you need to disregard as you put off the old self and put on the new self?