Rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ. 1 Peter 4:13 (NIV) Now why does Peter say, “Rejoice…that you participate in the sufferings of Christ?” Because if you share in his sufferings, you will also share in his glory (4:13). Christ was despised and rejected in this world, but now...
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
God has created each one with our own unique gifts, personality, and temperament. The new birth does not violate what God has made. Shy sinners become shy Christians. Zany sinners become zany Christians. Cautious sinners become cautious Christians. Cool sinners become cool Christians.
Regeneration does not make you somebody else. Paul says that God makes you a new creation. He does not say that God makes you a different creation. You are made new, but you are still you!
By God’s grace we can all grow and develop, but we grow within the frame of the temperament with which he has made us. Think about the temperamental difference between artists and accountants. This is a caricature, but don’t miss the point.
Accountants are meticulous, detail-oriented, and given to order. Discipline comes to them more easily than it does to artists. Artists are creative, expressive, and intuitive. Spontaneity comes to them more easily than it does to accountants! When an artist is regenerated, she does not become an accountant. She becomes a regenerated artist.
The more expressive artists might conclude that the more reserved accountants do not love Christ because they do not raise their hands in worship. And the more schedule-driven accountants might conclude that the more spontaneous artists do not love Christ because they do not have a daily Bible reading schedule.
Don’t lose the joy of following Christ by trying to conform to the image of the Christian next to you. We will all be conformed to the image of Christ, like the facets of a diamond that reflect the many colors of light. Every Christian will uniquely reflect the glory of Christ.
In what ways could you be more content with your temperament?