Well, I was probably going to stay silly whether he gave me permission or not. Silliness is a trait of mine that is quite essential to my personality, I think.
But what traits are not essential to my personality? Quite a few, surprisingly. Like sarcasm. I find that, while funny sometimes, sarcasm is really unnecessary. It's mostly used to make people feel bad, or it's used to make myself feel smart at someone else's expense. I've tried to cut down on the amount of sarcasm I use in the past few years, but it's hard. I mean, in fifth grade, my teacher called me the Queen of Sarcasm. Fifth grade. That's a lot of unlearning to do.
Sometimes it's hard to weed out which aspects of our personalities need to change and which ones are central to our being. Traits are formed over a lifetime. Some we begin when we're young, some we begin when we get older and life gets busy or complicated.
|Don't I look smug? This picture says, |
"I dare you to play Jeopardy with me."
I know this behavior is annoying. It doesn't make any friends, it doesn't improve my life in any tangible way. Sometimes it makes me feel self-conscious or hesitant to participate in discussions. Besides, I know the truth: there is more to me than my intellect. I'm funny, I'm talented, I'm not Quasimodo. I have more to offer than gray matter. And God knows that. If my life is supposed to point to Him in all I do, how does a trait like that point to him?
It doesn't. It points to me.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. - Romans 12:2
Sarcasm points to me. Being a know-it-all points to me. Pride, laziness, low self-esteem. Those traits all point to me, not to God. That's an easy way to decide whether a trait should be deleted. And I seem to need a lot of revisions, so that calls for a ton of prayer. Some of these are so embedded in me, there's no way I can get rid of them on my own. It also requires a great deal of humility on my part, as it appears I am not perfect.
I know. I'm just as shocked as you are.
But I know that when these traits are transformed into something God can use, he'll use me. Like crazy, he'll use me. I'm much more useful to him when I become who he made me to be. And that requires giving up the traits that only point to me and replace them with traits that point to him.
What traits point to you, and what steps are you taking to make them point to God?