DO EXIST WITHIN THE CHURCH. THEY CAN BE BETWEEN ANY TWO PERSONS.
SATAN CAN USE PERSONALITY CLASHES TO UNDO LOVE AND HARMONY - HE
CAN USE IT TO SPLIT OR DESTROY ANY GROUP OF CHRISTIANS. IN THIS
ARTICLE YOU WILL BE SHOWN HOW TO OVERCOME THIS FIERY DART OF THE
You are a unique person. There has never been a person quite
like you before - Yes, there may be a look-a-like. You've no
doubt heard about the "look alike" contests for the famous
entertainment "stars". Some are quite remarkable and a few I saw
on TV on one of those interview shows said people on the street
will not believe they are not the real film star or singer that
There are the "identical twins" - twins that look so much
alike it is very difficult to tell them apart. These identical
twins do often have the same likes, abilities, talents, and often
show an uncanny mental telepathy between themselves. Yet, they
are not 100%, exactly the same.
The one difference we all have, besides our finger prints,
is - we ALL have our own distinct PERSONALITY!
Your personality is made up of many varying parts. It
includes all that makes you - YOU. It contains your talents, your
likes, your feelings, your very thoughts, and everything that
just makes you "tick" as they say.
Now your personality can be shaped by your environment - the
cultural ideology you were raised in. Your personality can be
shaped by the way your parents influenced you, or other close
relatives or friends. The type of school you attended may have
helped mould your personality. Certain clubs you joined as a
growing child may have influenced the personality you became as
an adult. There are many things that can determine what
personality you will be, even heredity plays a part. But the
bottom line is that you are an individual, different from any
other individual with a unique personality.
TURN BACK THE PAGES
Think back now to when you were a pre-schooler, possibly
when you were in kindergarten or just playing with neighborhood
friends. Were there some kids you simply did not get along with -
you just plainly did not like them? There sure was! There was
that "nasty" little Sam or Sue.
There may have been those "pests" from around the corner who
disturbed everyone. Or there was that Jimmy who would love to
trip you up if he got the opportunity. And on it goes - kids you
just did not get along with for one reason or another.
Now think about your years in grade school. Did you just
love the school bully? Or that boy (if you are a girl reading
this) who kept pulling your hair? There may have been a kid that
was always putting his foot in his mouth with stupid remarks
about you, and you would have loved to put your foot in his
mouth. Did you get along with the school prankster - the one who
tied your shoe laces together when you weren't looking?
How about the time spent in High school. Was there no one
that you didn't have problems with? Someone you wished was going
to another High School than the one you attended.
After entering the adult world you probably did not "hit it
off" with everyone you met. There was I'm sure some individual
that you wished was not in your life. Someone you did not see
"eye to eye" with. You did not like their views on politics, or
entertainment, on religion, or fashion etc. You just hoped they
would move away to another place of work or another town.
You didn't get along with these individuals because of your
distinct personality which was at variance in some way with their
distinct personality. Personalities manifesting themselves as
shaped by natural heredity and environmental influences.
Personality clashes - a common occurrence in our societies
and nations. Most think little about it - most learn to live with
it as a part of this life, but when.....
YOU BECOME A CHRISTIAN.......
All that is supposed to change is it not? Are we not as
Christians to love each other, have no jealousies, animosities,
strife, dislikes, and personality clashes? Yes, that is true, but
the truth is we do not become PERFECT when we become a Christian
and receive the Spirit of God. Our carnal nature does not
disappear with the wave of a hand, and a "be gone with you"
command. At the time we receive God's Spirit there is still a
great dose of carnality within us. Because of this fact, many are
shocked when they come into the Church of God, to discover that
personality clashes can and often do - exist.
We are all growing at different rates, and we all have
varying degrees of carnality to overcome, depending on what we
came out of as far as how our personalities were shaped by our
heredity and environment. We can in time, overcome most of our
obvious bad personality traits such as bad temper, unbecoming
speech, wrong ideas based on the "way that seems right unto man"
and others. These can be put aside as we put on the new man that
is being created by Christ living in us.
Most of our personality clashes come about because of the
"open" - easy to see areas in our personality that are still "the
works of the flesh" such as the ones I've mentioned above. But
there is a more sinister and harder to recognize problem, yet
maybe not so hard to recognize as knowing how to overcome a
Have you ever attended a meeting, perhaps a regional or
national company meeting, where many of your peers are there that
you have never met before? Within a few hours you have found one
or two individuals that you prefer to "stay away" from. You do
not really know them, you have not talked to them at any length
to really find what "makes them tick". There is just something
about them that irks you - something that "gets your goat" -
something that "rubs you the wrong way" so you would prefer to
leave them alone and not be around them.
Usually this reaction is not precipitated by the LARGE
personality faults we have mentioned before, but very small
incidents in fact, yet to us, to our mind, they are large -
uncomfortable - and very threatening to our peace and
tranquillity of mind. So we "shy away" from that person, hoping
we never have to spend very long in close encounters with them.
We delude ourselves into thinking that if we ignore the problem
it will go away, or that it does not really exist at all, when
deep down we know there is a problem. If we are willing to admit
that there is a difficulty between us and this other person, we
would be able to see that part of the problem is within
ourselves. It is our pre-conceived ideas and thoughts about this
person that is partly to blame, as well as some of our own
prejudice and unfairness.
Oh yes, the "works of the flesh" are still at work, even in
this instance, but they are the works of the flesh that are more
cunning and clandestine. So it can be harder to OVERCOME. But
such personality clashes can be overcome. For the Christian they
must be overcome. We must admit it is there(if indeed it is) and
ask God to help us do our part in solving the problem.
Twice in my life(to the present writing of this article) I
have found myself in the subtle type of personality clash that
I've talked about above. I want to tell you about them and the
way they were overcome.
REAL LIFE EXPERIENCES
I was 19 when I first heard the voices of Herbert W.
Armstrong and his son Garner Ted over the radio air waves - it
was the fall of 1961. Soon I was reading every piece of
literature the then Radio Church of God would send me. After the
initial SHOCK of discovering that some of my cherished Christian
beliefs that I had, from my years of church attendance, were not
to be found in the Bible(like going to heaven when you die), I
became like a starving lion - devouring the Bible with night and
day study to find more truths. Soon I was getting strange glances
from my friends in the Baptist church I attended - they knew who
I was listening to on the radio. After some months I knew I
could not continue attending a Sunday keeping Church(my Baptist
landlord had told me to my utter shock that Sunday was not the
7th day of the week), I was alone - there was no one who was
close to believing as I now did. It felt strange, was I the only
one who could see these basic truths that this father and son
were preaching I often thought.
One day by luck or chance(probably neither but from God) I
met a lady (a married lady - about 5 years older than me) who
also was believing as I was. What a joy - what a blessing - what
a delight - what a conversation we had. There was no personality
Then, some time later(a year or more) came the first meeting
with a minister from the Radio Church of God (later to be called
the Worldwide Church of God) - it was a Bible study and baptism
meeting. I was there along with some others.
I now knew about 10 more persons whom I could fellowship
with. There was Peter and his wife Nomi, there was George and
Rose his wife (farmers from not to far out of town), there was Al
and Josephine, Jim and June, and a few single guys like me. We
all immediately got along well - no personality clashes.
Then there was Don - a man about 20 years older than myself,
a somewhat quiet and reserved man. He had more experience than I
had in this world, a middle income man with a wife but no
children. I found it hard to talk to him, so I didn't most of the
time. Our personalities were different. At that time in my life
(now I look back) I was burning with enthusiasm for the truths I
was discovering, and being somewhat vociferous, I probably said
too much, too often, and without any "tack". I remember one day
while visiting with Al and Josephine(whom I got along with like a
house on fire) there was a knock at the door - it was Don. As we
were all fellowshipping, the topic of MASONS came up. I had read
the booklet about Masons from the WCG., and as I remember now,
blurted out in a thoughtless manner that the Masonic Lodge was
another of Satan's tools. Don was a Mason and had never read the
booklet. If we didn't have a personality clash before (which we
did) - we sure had one now.
Don did eventually read that booklet on the Masons and did
drop out from belonging to that Lodge, but the personality clash
between us continued. Neither of us had ever been openly nasty to
each other - we had never had an argument. Our personalities at
that time, as newly baptized persons, just didn't "jive"
together. You couldn't put your finger on the specific problem
between us. I'm sure the problem was much more than just that
"Masonic Lodge" incident.
It was some time later (when we had our first local minister
sent to us to establish a church) that I was to discover or face
the problem head on. We had just never tried to understand or
even get to know each other - we had never made an effort to
befriend each other.
A year or more went by, and now we had a minister and the
church was growing, many more couples and singles coming to
services. I was in the Spokesman Club and so was Don. Then
another close friend of mine and I were chosen to be song leaders
in services, we took turns - he one week and me the next week.
Then I was chosen as librarian for the church (I think I had the
reputation of being a "book worm"). All of this and all of this
growth, with no serious personality clashes except with Don - it
was still an arms length relationship that we had.
ANOTHER PERSONALITY CLASH
Then entered George, a younger married man, about my age. He
was a "musician" as I was. Some of the other fellows in the
church also played various musical instruments. We would often
get together to "jam."
The minister liked to have one or two "fun nights" for the
church every year. Now the congregation was nearing 200. I was
chosen to be in charge of the fun program. I was to organize the
music and talent skits etc. making sure they were in "good"
taste. Well, George and I didn't hit it off on the music side of
things. Again there was no arguing between us, just a kind of
"cold war" that we both endured.
I was not sure if he just did not like the way I did things,
or if he just did not think I was a good musician. Whatever it
was, it gave us a personality clash. Now I had TWO people I had
serious "unspoken" clashes with. I knew it was there and I knew
they knew it was there.
Our local minister was a wise man. He knew that with a
congregation of about 200 and increasing, there had to be some
personality clashes. I found out later there were more problems
along this line than just what existed between Don, George, and
I. So the minister, from time to time, would bring sermons along
the lines of down to earth Christian living - how to get along
with each other, how to appreciate and serve each other, how to
understand each other, and a whole lot of plain practical
suggestions as to what we could do to alleviate personality
clashes among ourselves. Those sermons hit home. I had been
trying to run from the problem that existed between Don and
George and I. If I wasn't running from it I was turning a blind
eye to it. Now I faced up to the problem and admitted to myself
that it was very real and determined to do something about it.
Upon examining the situation I realized that I had never
really acknowledged that these two men(Don and George) had their
God giver talents and abilities. I had never tried to understand
them, or listen to what they had to say. I made very little
effort to get to KNOW them and never invited them over to my home
for an evenings visit, or gave them the chance to open up to me.
I did not make any real effort to be "their friend."
I made a decision to change all that. It was not easy the
first time to ask them to come over for dinner and fellowship. I
was apprehensive that they would refuse, but they did not. Within
a few private visits with these two men (individual - one on one
visits) I was to see great changes between us. I'm sure they were
also trying to act upon the sermons we had all heard. Our
understanding of each other grew and grew. Our appreciation of
each others talents and abilities within the body of Christ grew.
We were kind and thoughtful to each other from that time on. I
got along with everyone in that local church, some I was closer
to than others because of age and outside interests, but these
two men - Don and George - with whom I had for so long a time
this personality clash, became two of the closest friends I had
in that congregation
That first WCG church that I was a founding member of,
became known as one of the warmest, friendliest, and loving
congregations in that part of the country. The minister at that
time must take a large part of the credit for guiding us, and
helping us get to the nuts and bolts in overcoming not only sins
in general but also that little spoken about problem of
If you have a personality clash with someone, I hope you
will admit you do. Possibly this article will help you decide to
do something about it. I hope relating my personal experiences
along these lines will have shown you how to go about solving
"personality clashes." They do exist, but with love and a
determined effort, and the Spirit of God they can be - OVERCOME.
Written in 1991