Sunday, October 23, 2011

Christ In Us: Personality or Holiness?

Did our Lord have a personality? Is it possible that His holiness was separate from His personality. The world tells us to 'be yourself'; it tells us that we are valuable as we are and that we shouldn't care what others think of us. On the other hand, the Word of God says that we are dead in our and filthy, and that we do need to be changed, into the image of Christ. But can this means that our very personalities are to be changed into His?

From Scripture we can speculate about Jesus' personality. He was probably an introvert. Though He was on earth in order to minister to people there were days when He sent the crowds away or woke hours before dawn in order to be alone, alone with His Father. He drew strength and energy from constant communion with the Father.

He was overall a quiet and gentle man, though at times He did break out in episodes of righteous anger (cleansing the temple, rebuking Peter, etc.). Jesus was also a contemplative man; He thought through things carefully and He intellectually answered Israel's religious leaders. Still, there were times when His emotions clearly surfaced (at Lazarus' tomb, weeping over Jerusalem, etc.)

All these were components of Christ's personality which were affected by His holiness. God has created us each as unique human being, and so I don't believe that He asks us to alter our personalities, but He does command us to strive for the image of Christ's holiness. Even if our personality happens to be completely opposite of Jesus' there are things we can learn from His personality that are characteristics of His holiness. Jesus realized that His success on earth was dependent upon His relationship with the Father. We too must realize how important our fellowship with God is, because the level of our relationship with Him is directly proportional to our level of impact in the world.

Christ had perfect control over His emotions, and likewise, we too must strive for a holiness that understands the proper situations in which to display certain emotions. Every time He was confronted Christ was perfectly prepared to defend His position and authority on the earth. As Christ reiterated we must learn to love our God with all our minds as well as with all our hearts. Our emotions are often faulty and unpredictable, and so our minds must love Christ and soundly defend the faith when our hearts cannot.

Yes, Christ had a personality, just like every other fully human being, but He also had a wholly other holiness, possible only by reason of His fully divine nature. His divinity was perfectly lived out in His humanity, and as the Spirit of Christ surely builds the holiness of Christ in each of us we can eagerly anticipate the day when His holiness will also be lived out in our humanity.

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