Faults vs Personality 

​Please Read John 7:24

Jesus said that we should judge not by mere appearances but with correct judgment. Not understanding the difference between a person’s faults and their personality can cause us to judge them unfairly, as I have done. More about that later. 


When you look up the definition for, “Fault,” you will find that it means an unattractive feature in one’s character or personality. So a fault is not the individual’s personally, it’s an unattractive feature of their character. When you look up the word, “Personality,” you will find that it means a combination of qualities that make up an individual’s distinctive character. It’s interesting that the word, “Person,” is in, “Personality,” because that’s what it means. A person’s character or personality is who they are. It is all their qualities combined that makes them them. So why do we sometimes treat a person’s individual faults as if they are his/her personality? Is it because we’re being judgmental? Sometimes. But I also believe it’s because we are blending the 2 words together like they’re synonymous. We don’t understand their meanings.


I remember telling someone, “The rock of the church the apostle Peter was prejudice, but God still used him despite his faults. So he can use us too.” I really thought I was saying something good when I made that statement. But after further consideration and study of God’s word I renounce that statement as wrong. There’s only one incident recorded in the Bible where Peter acted in a prejudice manner. And God used Paul to correct him. (Galatians 2:11-14) So how can this one occurrence define Peter’s whole character? It clearly was a fault, and not his personality. Nowhere in the scriptures do we see Peter living like a racist. We do see God teaching him that he accepts all people from all nations and not just Jews. And we see Peter accepting God’s counsel. (Acts chapter 10) The unattractive feature of favoritism that sprung up in Peter later on did not overshadow Peter’s lifestyle. Hence it was not his personality. It was a fault. 

Please Read Romans 7:14-25

Having a better understanding of faults verses personality helps us understand ourselves. We are all born in sin, hence we have faults. But because we have been changed (born again by the Holy Spirit) we are now a new creation in Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:16-18) We have put on the new personality. (Colossians 3:9-11 Ephesians 4:22-24) This rebirth happened the moment we believed in Christ. (Titus 3:5-7) The Spirit who dwells in us is our true identity; our personality. Our faults spring up from our flesh. But that is not who we really are. That’s why Paul could say regarding his sins, “Yet it is not I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” Again, our sin nature does not make up who we are. Evidence of this fact is seen when we don’t agree with our sins. But rather we are troubled by them, and hate them just as the apostle Paul hated his sins. And thanks be to God through Jesus Christ as Paul said for freeing us from this body of sin and death! (Romans 6:23) I’m so glad for passages like Romans 7:14-25. There God explains to us our sins are not who we are. As far as East is from West, so far has He removed our sins from us the Bible says. (Psalm 103:12-14) Just as East and West will never meet, our sins will never stick to us, provided we are truly in a struggle with sin, and hate the bad we do like Paul.


In view of all this when people say things like, “King David was a murderer and an adulterer,” are they speaking correctly? Did murder and adultery dominate David’s life? No. Murder and adultery did spring up in David from his flesh. And he paid dearly for his sins for the rest of his life. (2 Samuel 12:9-12) But those sins were not David’s lifestyle; they weren’t his personality. David repented of them and profited from his chastening by the Lord. This is the same David that the Bible says was a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22) Wow! So let us judge correctly. Let us judge according to the truth that sets us free. (John 8:31-32)

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