Jesus Lord of Your Personality

by Glen H. Jones

Jesus prayed that His disciples (and us) would be "complete." That completeness also involves our personality. But we do not have complete Christian personalities the moment we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We must allow the Holy Spirit to mold us into the likeness of Christ. Bob and Rusty Russell give us four pairs of positive and negative personality traits that help us identify those areas that display the mind of Christ. These four pairs of personality traits are 1) griping and grateful, 2) worry and peace, 3) bitterness and forgiveness, and 4) depression and joy. Every generation, I am sure, had its share of grumblers and complainers. However, it seems the more we have in modern America, the more we complain. The key to happiness is to be thankful. So how can one develop a thankful attitude? The authors suggest visiting someone who is less fortunate than you, frequently express thanks to God, count your blessings, and enjoy what God has given you. Worry wears us down and drains our health and strength. Most things we worry about tend to work themselves out with less dire consequences than we had imagined. To overcome worry, trust Him who knows all about us, meet with the people of God for worship (it's easier to worry when you are alone), review the promises from His Word, and live one day at a time. An unforgiving spirit produces bitterness and bitterness leads to alienation from friends and from God. We are to forgive because He forgave us. We must forgive others who have wronged us even if they do not return the favor. Forgiveness is for our benefit, not for the benefit of the one who has wronged us. Forgiving another does not mean that we condone their unrighteous conduct; it means we clear our minds of bitterness so we may be in tune with God. The Russells also discuss four types of depression (which, of course, leads to lack of joy): 1) temperamental depression, 2) circumstantial depression; 3) psychological depression (brought about by the "pity me" attitude), and 4) physical depression caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Discussion questions at the end of each chapter make this book suitable for small-group discussion.