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Personality isn’t permanent: Why that should be good news

Ryan Denison is the Senior Fellow for Theology at Denison Forum, where he contributes writing and research to many of the ministry’s productions.

He is in the final stages of earning his PhD in church history at BH Carroll Theological Institute after having earned his MDiv at Truett Seminary. Ryan has also taught at BH Carroll and Dallas Baptist University.

He and his wife, Candice, live in East Texas and have two children.


Personality isn’t permanent
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Personality tests are often considered an important component in understanding what makes people tick—and for good reason. After all, characteristics like introvert versus extrovert do seem to have a sizable impact on the way people interact with the world around them. 

But, as Dr. Benjamin Hardy points out, while personality may be important, it’s not permanent

However, as useful as understanding our personality may be, we make a mistake when we treat it as a fundamental and unchanging aspect of how God created us. Rather, the Lord made us to be moldable. And that’s a good thing. 

Dr. Daniel Gilbert put it this way: “Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.”

Whom does God desire you to be?

Most are likely to hear that as good news, which it very much should be. Every person walking this earth has room to grow, and we should approach each day as an opportunity to do just that. 

However, that ability to change should also remind us not to take for granted the areas in which we feel more secure or that more closely mirror the ideals of Christ. After all, the good can turn bad just as easily as the bad can turn good (and perhaps more so). 

Ultimately, each day offers us the chance to more closely resemble the ideal versions of ourselves that God had in mind when he formed us in our mothers’ wombs. Nobody knows what that looks like better than him, though.

So take some time today to ask God to help you evaluate your personality and see which aspects of it are in line with what he imagined and which might be more the product of circumstance or sin. 

And don’t settle for less than what the Lord created you to be, no matter how daunting the prospect of making those changes may appear. 

After all, “this is just who I am” will be a poor excuse for missed opportunities and unchecked immorality when we stand before God to give an account of our lives (Romans 14:10–12). 

Fortunately, every day until that moment comes is a chance to address the issues and characteristics limiting our impact for the Lord. 

What do you need to change today?