January 19: Personality and Personal Ministry

Read Luke 6:12-16

If you had lived at the time of Jesus, would He have chosen you to be one of the Twelve? Perhaps you gave a quick “No!” response to that question. Maybe you tend to elevate people like that to superhuman levels. Possibly, you place them into a stereotypical mold of sameness that is unlike you. Whatever your answer, don’t neglect the fact that now, 2000 years later, you are one He has chosen to serve Him. And, whatever your answer, understand that God uses different personalities to serve Him. In fact, your personality uniquely enables you to serve in a particular way.

Consider four personalities represented among the Twelve:

Jesus assigned to Simon the nickname “Peter” or “Rock.” He was one who wasn’t afraid to speak up with a thought or question. The downside was that he sometimes stuck his foot in his mouth. On the positive side, his questioning nature allows us to have greater clarity today (eg. Jn. 13:1-17)!

James and John bore the nickname “Sons of Thunder.” Though we aren’t clear on all the reasons for that name, it seems that there were sometimes lightning flashes that surrounded them. In one instance, they asked for the privilege of sitting next to Jesus in His kingdom. This incited tension among the disciples (Mk. 10:35-45). Nevertheless, God used them greatly.

There was also another Simon known as “the Zealot.” He is one of the least known disciples, but his nickname indicates a forceful, goal-oriented personality.

With regard to personality, you may be reserved or outspoken. You may be a golden retriever or a beaver. You may be choleric or sanguine. Regardless, Christ has chosen you and wants to use you and your personality. But be careful not to hide behind the negative or even sinful tendencies that may go along with your personality. God enables believers of all personality types to demonstrate the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s control with qualities like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22, 23). Allow Him to capture your personality for His purposes in serving Him.


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