I am, if you don’t know, rather absentminded. I admit, sometimes this state can be inconvenient, but it has its blessings, too. Chances are, I won’t remember if you’ve offended me in the past. If you come over, I can sit down and enjoy a visit without obsessing over details. Crooked pictures don’t bother me. And I can be easily interrupted if I am needed. Interruptions don’t usually bother me at all.
Under the control of the Holy Spirit, my absentmindedness is a good thing.
One of the challenges my mom makes is the importance of seeing personality traits through the lens of God’s grace and provision. It’s easy instead, to be irritated at a child who is too quiet (or not quiet enough), too rigid (or not rigid enough). One child might not think in shades of gray; the other never sees black and white! (I speak metaphorically, of course.) Sadly, when we see these personalities as problems, we miss the joy that comes from understanding not only how God works in our children’s lives, but also our own.
I might call Bethel intense, but my mom calls her enthusiastic (whatever she is doing). That’s not an accidental correction, but a gentle reminder that how we perceive our children really does matter. A child isn’t fearful, but careful. Imagine the value of a cautious soul when guided by the Holy Spirit. And imagine the glory God gets when that cautious soul acts boldly because he is walking in the spirit.
We can run the risk the other way, too, valuing personality traits that in themselves are neither good nor bad. A quiet child might be the admiration of all young mothers. A child who cares desperately to please people might be extremely pleasant for all the wrong reasons.
Every personality can be used for good.
This morning, I have need of fighting against my personality to get the house ready for possible company this week. And I need to sit down with my Bible and a cup of coffee. I need to walk in the spirit.