Illustration results for personality
GOD JUST NEEDS A VOICE
John Stott, a well-known British pastor and theologian, was invited to preach at the University of Sydney in Australia; but after he got there, he lost his voice. He describes his experience as follows:
"What can you do with a missionary who has no voice? We had come to the last night of the [evangelistic campaign]. The students had booked the big university hall. A group of students gathered around me, and I asked them to pray as Paul did, that this thorn in the flesh might be taken from me. But we went on to pray that if it pleased God to keep me in weakness, I would rejoice in my infirmities in order that the power of Christ might rest upon me.
"As it turned out, I had to get within one inch of the microphone just to croak the gospel. I was unable to use any inflection of voice to express my personality. It was just a croak in a monotone, and all the time we were crying to God that his power would be demonstrated in human weakness. Well, I can honestly say that there was a far greater response that night than any other night. I’ve been back to Australia ten times now, and on every occasion somebody has come up to me and said, "Do you remember that night when you lost your voice? I was converted that night."
God doesn’t need eloquence to reach people. He just needs a voice, your voice, with a living, vital connection to Him in prayer.
I like the way Luci Swindoll once put it. She writes: "A friend of mine was caught in an elevator during a power failure. At first, there was momentary panic as all seven strangers talked at once. Then my friend remembered the tiny flashlight he had in his pocket. When he turned it on, the fear dissipated. During the 45 minutes they were stuck together they told jokes, laughed, and even sang. [The Bible] says we are that flashlight. Just as the flashlight draws power from its batteries, we draw power from Jesus. As light, we dissipate fear, bring relief, and lift spirits. We don’t even have to be big to be effective. We just have to be ’on.’"
(Source: Student Leadership, Spring 1993, p. 32. Luci Swindoll, "Heart to Heart," Today’s Christian Woman. From a sermon by C. Philip Green, "The Power of His Presence" 7/10/2009)
For more from Chuck, visit http://www.insight.org
BE LIKE MIKE...?
Gary Thomas, in his book Authentic Faith, describes a friend of his named Mike. He met Mike when he went to college. Mike was a leader among students. He had everything: a contagious personality, athletic ability, good looks, and natural appeal. And everybody wanted to be around Mike. Everybody wanted to be Mike.
But a few years after college, Mike suffered a brain hemorrhage, and, as a result, he lost everything: his handsome appearance was gone, his voice was slurred, he couldn’t teach any more. Everything that others admired in Mike was now taken from him.
His treatment required months of grueling therapy, but eventually he was able to function again. The devastating effect on his body was paralleled by an equally powerful change in his spirit. He still attracted followers, but he was no longer focused on himself. He was focused on God. Gary Thomas says, "In college, when I was around Mike, I wanted to be like Mike. Now, after spending time with Mike, I want to be more like Jesus."
I once heard a humorous story about the Pope who was on a visit to America for a period of time. On his last day of the visit, he was delayed due to meetings and was unable to break away to catch a flight.
Since he couldn’t depend on his Pope Mobile, he phoned for a limousine. When the limousine arrived, the driver was joyfully surprised that it was the Pope who called for him. The driver became nervous and was beside himself. He proceeded to drive very slowly. The Pope became nervous and told him to hurry up. It did not make a bit of difference. The driver went slower; he wanted to keep the Pope in his limousine as long as he could. The Pope could not be delayed any longer so he asked to drive the limo himself. The Pope sped off and reached the speed of 85 miles an hour. The policeman who stopped him was shocked when he discovered the famous personality behind the wheel. He frantically phoned his police chief and said, “Chief, I have stopped a very important figure for speeding. I don’t know what to do?”
--“What do you mean? Give him a speeding ticket!”
--“Sir, in all honesty, I can’t.”
--“Why can’t you? The law is the law. Who is it anyway that you stopped? Is it the mayor?”
--“Is it the governor?”
--“Is it a congressman?”
--“Is it the president?”
--“Well, then, who is it?!”
--“I don’t know sir! All I know is that the Pope is driving him to the airport.”
ALL THE DIFFERENCE
All but four of the major world religions are based on mere philosophical propositions. Of the four that are based on personalities rather than philosophies, only Christianity claims an empty tomb for its founder.
In 1900 B.C. Judaism’s Father Abraham died. In 483 B.C. Buddhist writings say Buddha died “with that utter passing away in which nothing whatever remains behind.” June 6, 632 A.D. Mohammed died. .
In 33 A.D. Jesus died but came back to life appearing to 500 people over a period of 40 days.
“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is you...
TV personality Hugh Downs tells a story about the problem lawyers and doctors often encounter with people who seek to obtain free professional advice at parties and other social events. It seems that a certain doctor and lawyer were having a conversation during a cocktail party. While they were talking, a woman approached the doctor and complained about a sore leg. The doctor listened, then told her about applying cold compresses and keeping the leg elevated and taking aspirin, etc. After she had gone, the doctor turned to the lawyer and said, "I think I ought to send her a bill, don’t you?" The lawyer said, "Yes, I do think you ought to send her a bill." So the next day, the doctor sent the woman a bill…and the lawyer sent the doctor a bill."
Bruce Wilkinson has written an excellent little book called The Prayer of Jabez. In the book, Wilkinson explains the reluctance believers have toward having a greater influence for Christ in their world.
He explains this reluctance by using two mathematic equations. The first equation describes the reluctant believer. It looks like this.
“My abilities + experience + training +my personality and appearance + my past + the expectations of others = my assigned territory” (Wilkinson, p. 40).
The prayer would sound something like this. “Lord, please use my abilities, such as they are. Give me the experience and training I need. Make me a better person and don’t let anyone find out what I’m really like. Help me to be what everyone expects me to be so I can have more influence.”
Wilkinson writes, “Our God specializes in working through normal people who believe in a supernormal God who will do His work through them . . . That means God’s math would look more like this: My willingness and weakness + God’s will and supernatural power = my expanded territory” (Wilkinson, p. 41).
Frequently in the wedding service we have the ceremony of lighting the unity candle by the bride and groom. The couple each takes a small burning candle, representing their solitary life thus far, and together they light the large, center, wedding candle. When they put their small candles back into their holders, they can either extinguish them, or leave them burning to represent their unique personalities.
During the wedding it is interesting to see whether they leave the individual candles aglow or put them out. At a recent wedding, the bride and groom put the individual candles back into their holders with the flames burning.
Then the bride, with an impish gleam in her eye, bent over and blew out her husband’s candle. The congregation burst into laughter. Later, one fellow commented: “During the marriage ceremony two become one --- on the honeymoon they discover which one.” (from Parables, etc 5/83 pg. 5)
True biblical worship so satisfies our total personality that we don’t have to shop around for man-made substitutes. William Temple made this clear in his masterful definition of worship: “For worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose—and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the ...
One man I admire greatly is Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941)
Maximilian Kolbe was a Catholic priest, who was put in a Nazi concentration camp for his faith.
On May 28, 1941, he was transferred to the concentration camp at Auschwitz.
During his time there, he would share his meagre rations of food with those around him who were hungry.
Despite the evil in the camp perpetrated against the inmates, Kolbe pleaded with the prisoners to forgive their persecutors and overcome evil with good.
A protestant doctor who treated the patients in Kolbe’s block said that Kolbe would not let himself be treated before any other prisoners in that block.
He sacrificed himself for the other prisoners. The doctor said about Kolbe:
"From my observations, the virtues in the Servant of God were no momentary impulse such as are often found in men, they sprang from a habitual practice, deeply woven into his personality."
One day a man in Kolbe’s block escaped. All of the men from that block were brought out into the hot sun and made to stand there all day with no food or drink.
At the end of the day, the man that had escaped was not found and so Fritsch, the Nazi commandant told the prisoners that ten men would be selected to die in the starvation cell in place of the one that had escaped.
One man, a polish sergeant (Francis Gajowniczek) was one of those selected. He begged to be spared because he was worried that his family would not be able to survive without him.
As he was pleading with the commandant, Maximilian Kolbe silently stepped forward and stood before the commandant.
The commandant turned to him and said asked, "What does this Polish pig want?"
Kolbe pointed to the polish sergeant and said, "I am a Catholic priest from Poland; I would like to take his place, because he has a wife and children."
The commandant stood silent for a moment in disbelief.
He then allowed the sergeant to go back to his place in the ranks and Kolbe took his place in the starvation bunker.
Each day the guards removed the bodies of those who had died.
However instead of the usual sounds of screaming, all they could hear was the sounds of Kolbe and the others in the bunker singing hymns and praying.
When Kolbe couldn’t speak any longer due to hunger and lack of energy, he would whisper his prayers.
After two weeks, the cell had to be cleared out for more prisoners. Only four prisoners were left and Kolbe was one of them.
The guards injected each with a lethal injection and on August 14, 1941, Kolbe paid the ultimate price.
Kolbe viewed others as more important than himself. And in that he was following the Master.
A. Todd Coget
THE CATCH-22 OF INCOMPETENCE
Most incompetent people don’t know they are incompetent.
In fact, researcher Dr. David A. Dunning of Cornell University reports that people who are incompetent are more confident of their abilities than competent people.
Dunning and his associate Justin Krueger believe that skills required for competence are the same skills necessary to recognize that ability.
Krueger writes in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, "Not only do [incompetent people] reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it."
That is the way we are spiritually without Christ.
Our sin not only separates us from God, it blinds us to our predicament.
SOURCE: Hank Simon, Catch-22 of Incompetence, Belleville, Illinois. Citation: New York Times News Service, Belleville [Illinois] News-Democrat (1-18-00.)