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Do we get to choose our personalities? I would say there are some traits that we get to choose and let grow. There are personalities that I think are so clever, loving, or fun, yet I find myself unattracted to them for other "chosen" traits they possess. For the sake of this post, I will call them "personality weeds." It's not that we aren't called to love these people, but these personality weeds can make it a harder job. I'm going to highlight a couple weeds that make even the most appealing personalities hard to be around.
I'm sure we've all encountered those types of people that always seem to have a cloud of bitterness hanging over whatever they say or do. We are all keenly aware that somebody must have treated them very poorly earlier in life, because they are constantly eluding to it. They let the crowds know that they have been the bigger man and have had to forgive some very bad people. They don't let us forget that people can be hurtful, and have hurt them.
You want to know what is attractive? When someone has been hurt, yet they are able to move and not reference the hurt or dwell on it constantly. I can always tell when a person is a truly forgiving person, because they appear as if they've never been hurt. Sure, we carry our scars, and the memories are still painful. It takes healing to get over harmful things that you've been through. But the thing is, EVERYONE has been hurt in some way or another. We are all people that have a "right" to be walking around bitter, but the truly attractive people don't. They recognize that they, too, are sinful. They leave it with God, and move on.
Inability to Let Loose
The world is full of unhappy things. Sin and the coming judgement are worthy topics to consider. But, if we let ourselves, we could only focus on those things, and never let anyone be happy or look at the more light side of life. There are some people that I always feel like I'm in a struggle just to have a pleasant conversation with, because they are ALWAYS focused on the weighty difficult things of life. Certainly there is a place for that. Surely we'd be in a bad place if we never gave thought to the heavy things. But to never be allowed to let loose or enjoy the lighter things is not quite fair, and also imbalanced. I feel uncared for by these people. They do not seem to be reading my situation and needs well; they are only focused on their agenda.
I have to admit that the people I am most drawn to are the ones that have a firm grasp on the weighty things, yet can enjoy making light of situations. There is a seriousness when needed, yet a joyfulness that always pervades and shines out. They can laugh at themselves, enjoy jokes, all while trusting God with the weighty things. They don't make others feel like they have to be glum or introspective 24 hours a day, while being unquestionably stable in their position of the hard things. These people make me breathe a sigh of relief, and I want to be around them. Life is already tough enough without a chance to make light of it.
Of course, there are also other personality weeds that can make us unattractive: not knowing when to stop talking, being argumentative, pessimism, being stuck on topics that interest only you, not following through on what you say, etc. I imagine we all have some unattractive personality trait that we are allowing to grow. I'd love to be closer to some people, but sometimes their personality weeds make me tend to keep my distance. Let's not let those things keep us from being close to each other. Work on pulling your weeds, and, lovingly, help your friends see their weeds as well.