Thursday, January 30, 2014

Subject to Like Passions

‎If you hadn't noticed, we've returned to our previous posting schedule of new posts on Monday and Friday, rewinds on Wednesday, and we're not sure if guest posts will be Wednesday or Thursday.  But it seems to be the schedule that gets everything posted on time with the least interference to the rest of the things on our plate.  

Today's guest post is a repost from Pastor Allan Leitner.  Pastor Leitner is one of those people I treasure in my life.  He has wisdom and a way of communicating that wisdom that just draws you into wanting to do things God's way.  And, if you need a friend, he's a great one to have.  Today's post deals with differences and likenesses.

"Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are" James 5:17a

If we go through life thinking everyone thinks and functions like us we will have many difficulties. Human needs are the same but the ways people cope with those difficulties is varied at best. I subscribe to the twelve personality type theory. Four temperaments with three variations each. I think this proves out Biblically and can be seen clearly in biology and anthropology.

Yet, While we should recognize the differences we also recognize the similarities. The "passions", the needs and situations we end up in are common to every person. We can celebrate our diversity and our commonality and should in a manner. God has made people wonderfully and He celebrated his own handiwork (see Genesis 1:31).

It is funny. The experts, those who study these four temperaments in all their nuances, when given the Gospel accounts and Jesus as a case study begin to marvel. Christ might as well be the shroud of Turin to these people because He defies categorization. Not in the way that a fictional character would being inconsistent in personality but in a glorious way that only a perfect man would exhibiting the strengths of each without a flaw.

"As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption." 1 Cor 15:48-50 NKJV

The amazing thing is that we as individuals with varying personalities now have incredible commonality in Christ. A commonality that doesn't "dumb us down." It doesn't tell us to be all the same or drive us to magnify our differences. There is a graciousness of mind and an elegance of thought that can dwell in the individual hidden in the Savior that can give us the ability to cope with and appreciate everyone else.

"And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" Eph 4:11

God wants to grow "us" with all our complexity and individuality into one that has abundant fruitfulness in love and all the qualities of love. Grace gives us the freedom to be who we are in this new man's image.
We can be like a glove that God's hand slips comfortably into.

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