Write 31 Days- Day 17- Personality Flaws that Kill our Influence


We all have them! EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US!  Personality flaws are one of the biggest influence  killers there are.  The problem with personality flaws are that we become comfortable in them and they almost become badges of honor.   OR excuses really to behave badly.

Personality Flaw #1- Flaws that keep us from being Authentic Christians

Actually I’m gonna deal with three because the are all closely related.

Being fake, being a hypocrite or being two faced.   Now you might be thinking Mary these are very separate things BUT in reality  they are all really under the guise of not being authentic.  I know It’s a huge buzz word right now BUT it is true.

  1. Being fake, being a hypocrite or being two faced.   Now you might be thinking Mary these are very separate things BUT in reality  they are all really under the guise of not being authentic.  I know It’s a huge buzz word right now BUT it is true.  When you struggle with being a hypocrite you say one thing and yet you do something completely different.  The number one place to see this, the grocery store line.  I heard a very small child use an off color word while waiting in line.  The mom reacted to the child and said don’t say that again and uttered some threat.  A few minutes later when she dropped something on the floor a string of explicative came rolling off her tongue- GET  THE PICTURE!  It’s the whole idea of do what I say not what I do!
  2.  Being fake also fits into this category as well.  Being fake means that we pretend that we are something that we are not.  Case in point: I ask you how you are doing and you say you are fine, when fine is the farthest thing from what you are.  When we seek to impress people we ted to say we like things that we really don’t, compromise on things that we would normally think was not right, or   act differently.  There was a whole section of life called college where I believed that  EXTROVERTED was the desired personality, when I had spent my entire like as an introvert.  IT was EXHAUSTING!  I suffered all sorts of consequences from this attempt be something that I wasn’t’t.
  3.  And thirdly being two faced.  That is when you tell one person on thing and another person something else.   This might look something like this, you are having dinner with a group of friends and all of a sudden somebody starts talking smack about your best friend from high school.  You chime in.  The next day you  call and make a lunch date and act as though the night before never happened.

Personality Flaw #2- Focused on Self

The next two personality flaws are liked as well.   Being opinionated and being self-centered.

  1.   Self- centered really is just caring about yourself.   I have been hashing this out both in my own mind and with hubby and with some close friends.   There are books in Christian pop culture that really urge you to take care of numero into (aka yourself). I get the premise and then there other books that tell you to serve and focus on others.  This can get mighty confusing.  So here is what I have learned so far: a) we really need to look to scripture to find the answer to this question.  And we need to look no further than Jesus Himself.  He is our example and that is what it means to be a Christian- to be a Christian literally means Christ- emulator.   In Christ we see a perfect man never knowing sin.  And we see some really interesting things about him.  He got away from groups to meet with His Heavenly Father (Prayer) and he served almost everyone he came in contact with.  We see he is weary, tired, hungry.  And in the midst of this 3 things he still puts others first.  He cares and serves others.  2). In scripture we are told that we should deny ourselves….our needs, desires all to follow and serve God (that means serving others).   when we set aside our needs, wants, entitlements (Whatever you choose to call it) God is free to use us in great and mighty ways.  But when we hold on to “what is best for me” we limit the  ways in which God can use us.
  2. Our second area is being opinionated.   It’s too hot, it’s too cold.  It’s too wet, It’s too dry,  It’s too purple , it’s too gray, It’s too soft it’s too hard.   wWe joke about some of these in. our house specifically it’s too hot, it’s too cold (especially this time of year!).   The reason being Hubby is built like a furnace and I suffer from ice cubes for hands and feet- SOOOO guess how the tabes turn in the summer!  HOWEVER being opinionated can get far more out of control than the temperature wars between husband and wife.   We are smack dab in the middle of election season (ENOUGH SAID).  the problem is that we are all worried about what is best for me.   we somehow think that even though we have a right to our opinions that we also have the right to make them known.  I’m all for open dialogue and discussion on topics (unless it’s politics and then I jus want to go take a nap).  The problem arises when we think the either our option is the only right opinion OR that we need to change everyone’s opinions to be mine.  When we do that we are just communicating it’s all about me.

Personality Flaw #3- EXCUSES

In MarK Hall’s book THRIVE, he states that Christian’s have big BUTS!  YES we do. What he is really saying is that we as Christians have big excuses, we all do.

I remember not long ago some one came to me with a problem that they wanted  advice for.  I gave them biblical advice and they answered it with BUT…..  I hear it all the time.   BUT Mary, BUT mom..but…but ….but.   Mt friends Marie has taught me this  fun little response when this happens:

What is a but?

Something we sit on!

I had to chuckle because I never realized just how many times I use “but” when I talk or write.  I’m not using it as an excuse I just never realized how ofter I have been using it until recently.

Excuses can be a good thing or a bad thing.   Like when our child gets sick and has to miss school.  When they are well again we write them an excuse explaining why they were absent.  Being sick is a good excuse.  I didn’t feel like getting them ready for school is a BAD excuse for not taking your child to school.

Many times excuses become the way we run away from our problems.   Other times excuses keep us from falling into sin.  We know what our triggers are and we  seek for ways not to be put  into situations that very well could lead us into that sin.   Alcoholics will often not go to certain places and hangout with certain friends who trigger the desire to drink.

Personality Flaw #4- Quitting or Giving Up

Have you ever met a chronic quitter.  You know that person who as soon as things don’t go as they think it should they pack it in for some new dream.

Unfortunately they don’t wait long enough to see what God is going to do in those circumstances.  So either it is too hard or it isn’t going how they envisioned it.

I can tell you right now that nothing I have ever touched in this life, whether it be directing a Christmas play, having children, street witnessing in NYC or being a pastors wife, not one thing has ever gone my way- or as I thought it should have.  Instead it usually ends up looking like some messy gross disaster. Kind of like a water color painting before it is finished.  And when I push through and finish the painting it is beautiful BUT if I quit in it’s messiest moment- it looks and is an utter disaster.

The problem is that we start to doubt God and the task he has brought us to.    The problem is that when we quit enough times people begin to not trust us. we become unreliable!

For this last one we can head to the Gospels to find the concept of expanded influence.

Luke 16:10 NIV 10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

When we stick with what we have committed ourselves to and see it through, we  have shown ourselves faithful.  We have shown ourselves to be able to handle other things.

So which of these personality flaws are a struggle for you?  For me I can sometime slip into a quitting mindset and  excuses AND the whole focusing on self  thing.