Monday, September 8, 2008

Spiritual Growth Does Not Change Personality Types and Temperament

In the Bible, there are some examples of people who reached spiritual maturity. There is no evidence that their personality types or temperaments were changed.

Apostle Peter in the Gospels often was very quick and was the first to reply Jesus when He talked to His disciples (Matthew 14:28; 15:15; 16:16; 16:22; 17:4; 18:21; 19:27; 26:33). Sometimes Peter said something without even thinking whether he should say something or be silent (Mark 9:5-6). This means that he probably had choleric temperament. The Bible does not indicate that his temperament was changed. However, it does indicate that he became loving others and humble. In the Gospels, Peter liked to take the lead, he thought that he was better then other apostles and did not want to forgive others. However, at the end of his life, he called apostle Paul "our beloved brother" and appreciated his wisdom (2 Peter 3:15) after Paul publicly rebuked him for hypocrisy (Galatians 2:11-21). At the time when Paul rebuked him, Peter was the leading apostle, but Paul was not. However, Peter did not keep offense. He was humble and forgiving and he loved Paul.

Apostle Paul probably was ENTJ. He got a good education, was very clever and logical, was resolute, liked to contact people, was open to new experience and liked to take a lead. There is no indication that his personality type was changed. His epistles were full of logical discourses. He separated Christianity from Judaism which was a new idea for that time. He was the leading apostle in the Gentile world. However, he became loving and merciful to people. Before his second missionary journey, he refused to take Mark who left him and Barnabas in the first journey. Eventually, Paul and Barnabas parted form one another because of that (Acts 15:36-41). However, in the end of his life, he appreciated Mark (2 Timothy 4:11). Paul loved other Christians and took care for them as a father. There is this thought in many of his epistles.

Apostle John and his brother apostle James were called "Sons of Thunder" by Jesus (Mark 3:17). When Samaritans did not receive Jesus and His disciples, John and James proposed to send the fire from the heavens on Samaritans (Luke 9:51-56). James was killed by Herod (Acts 12:1-2). John lived a long life. His Gospel and epistles that he wrote in the end of his life are full of love. Cruel John became loving John.

Thus, the Bible shows that spiritual maturity is not the change of personality types and temperaments. Spiritual maturity in the Bible is love, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and other Christian virtues.

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