Merriam-Webster dictionary defines personality as an individual's distinctive traits and characteristics. Generally, a person with a strong personality is confident, determined, and not easily influenced by other people. Those are great traits, but people with strong personalities can also be demanding and stubborn, and patience is not one of their virtues. People with strong personalities do not like excuses. While it is excellent to expect everyone to live up to their potential, as Godly people, we should always have grace for people. After all, God has so much grace for us.
The Apostle Paul was a great church leader with a strong personality. Acts 15:38 tells us, "But Paul disagreed strongly since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work." The verse refers to John Mark, a young man Barnabas, Paul's traveling companion, wanted to bring with them on their second missionary trip. John Mark had flaked on them on their previous trip, and Paul did not want to give him a second chance. Their disagreement was so sharp that they parted company, and Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus.
Even though Paul did not give John Mark a second chance then, Barnabas did, and Mark went on to write the Gospel of Mark and later became one of Paul's companions in ministry. Sometimes people with strong personalities demand things from people they cannot produce, not because they do not want to but because they do not have it in them at that moment.
A leader requires a strong temperament to face the adversities of leadership. Nevertheless, leaders must always walk very close to the Holy Spirit. They need to allow Him to work in them to keep their temper, lack of patience, and direct speech under the direction of the Holy Spirit. We must remember that as Christian leaders, our first objective is to be like Christ. Let us examine our hearts this week. Are we too demanding? Can we use more patience? Do we treat people as we expect Jesus to treat us? If our personalities are getting in the way of our spiritual growth, let us surrender them to Christ today.