There was a time in my life when I had a hard time getting along with others. I was angry much of the time, critical and judgmental of just about everyone and everything.
The problem was I didn’t know how to receive God’s love for me, and it kept me in bondage to the shame and condemnation I had from the abuse of my past.
Needless to say, I didn’t have real peace in my life and was miserable. But as I learned the truth about God’s love for me and who He created me to be, it radically transformed my life.
I can honestly say today that I like myself and I have healthy relationships that bring a lot of joy to my life!
Every person is created with a God-given personality. We are unique individuals, designed by Him to fulfill the plans and purposes He has for us.
Psalm 139:13-14 says, For You formed my innermost parts; You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works…
You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and His work is wonderful!
Many people have a hard time believing this. They focus on their weaknesses and everything they think is wrong with themselves, which causes them to live defeated lives because they are unable to change the things about them that need to change.
We all have things we need to deal with that are not like Christ—attitudes, mindsets and behaviors. When I started seriously studying God’s Word, I discovered all kinds of things that needed to change in my life.
At first, it was upsetting to be confronted with my wrong attitudes and behavior. But I am so grateful that God loves me enough to show me the truth about myself—what’s wrong in me and what’s right.
The key to experiencing godly changes in our soul is focusing on God and coming into agreement with what He thinks about us and who He says we are in His Word. Because only God can change our hearts and transform us into the image of Christ.
In the process of becoming more like Jesus, we can learn to see ourselves as God sees us, and we can receive His love for us and love ourselves.
It was also very helpful for me to learn about different personality types. It’s amazing the insight I gained not only about myself but about others. Each temperament has strengths and weaknesses, and when we understand what they are, we can have peace with ourselves and get along better with others.
For example, I have a choleric personality. This means I’m a leader who likes to take control of situations and make decisions, telling others what to do. This is a strength when I’m in charge of something and need to lead, but when I’m not in a leadership position, I have to be mindful not to take charge of things that aren’t my business.
It was so freeing for me when I learned to appreciate the temperament, abilities, and even the physical characteristics God has given me. But it was just as important for me to learn to love and appreciate others right where they are and give them permission to be who they are—not who I think they should be.
God has put people with very different temperaments than me in my life. I’ve had to work with the Holy Spirit to change my approach with people who are not like me, who have different personalities and ways of doing things.
And those relationships have been valuable in helping me to grow spiritually and become the person He has created me to be.
My husband, Dave, is easy going and has the ability to enjoy just about anything he does. I’ll never forget our trips to the grocery store as a young married couple.
I had my list and was serious about accomplishing our mission. Dave, on the other hand, was pushing the kids around in the cart, laughing and having a great time. It made me so mad!
Dave has always been a very wise, responsible man, but I wanted him to be “serious” like me. When I finally stopped trying to change him, it brought tremendous peace.
Now, I truly enjoy and value Dave’s personality. In fact, his ability to trust God and maintain his peace in hard times inspired me to pursue peace and emotional stability in my relationship with God, myself and others.
The best relationship advice I can give you is to develop a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus. Spend regular time with Him in prayer and studying His Word. As you do, He will literally change you from the inside out.
You will come to see yourself more and more through God’s eyes and be able to embrace the you that He has created you to be. You’ll also see others the way God sees them and learn to appreciate the unique individuals He’s created them to be, too.