We hear about “personality” all the time — what types people have, personality clashes, heredity and genetics, and more. Often the way we hear about it though, is either how good a personality is, or how bad it is. What is more, personalities, good or bad, often seem unchangeable, especially when there’s a problem or a clash.
The good news is, the Bible and Christ Jesus showed us that there is in fact an answer to this. The question you may be asking is how do we begin? If you’ve read my blog more than once you probably won’t be surprised by my answer: start with God, Spirit. What exactly does this mean? Well, let me unpack it a bit.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Jesus constantly turned to God — in prayer as well as in listening to and sharing the Word of God — when he needed an authority for each of the problems he faced. When we need to know who the authority, or author, regarding the people we deal with, our starting with God is very helpful — because we can see, based on the Bible (see quote above), that God made man (men and women) — you and me — in His image and likeness. If God is Spirit, then each of us is made spiritually, consisting of only God-like and God-derived qualities.
Similarly, Jesus also gave heed to his spiritual identity — the Christ. This original and God-derived identity is what empowered him and enabled him to heal people who appeared sinful or seemed to have corrupt personalities. Understanding himself spiritually enabled him to see others spiritually, too — because he knew that the people he healed were, like himself, also God’s children and had in reality only a perfect, spiritual, or Spirit-derived, identity.
The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, — perfect God and perfect man, — as the basis of thought and demonstration.
— Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.259
So rather than psychoanalyzing, we too, like Jesus, can mentally and spiritually ‘baptize’ ourselves and our neighbors, friends, and family — through prayer — with Spirit-based facts. To do this we start with what is good and true about one another because what is true about our friends comes from God, divine Truth, the source of all truth.
When I pray this way, I like to start by quietly acknowledging what good things my friend does well, knowing that each thing that comes to mind along these lines, is in fact, God-made. Also, when I acknowledge these things, I like to take the next step and acknowledge that there is in fact no opposite to this good that my friend expresses, because God is without an opposite, because God is infinite — and is eternal good itself.
In the past, I have found that by doing this, seeing both myself and my friends in this way — and even those I barely know, — instead of a problem continuing or compounding, I would find peace, and tensions would quickly dissolve. In some cases I saw immediate changes in my friends’ actions and attitudes.
I have also found this very helpful when praying about politics, whether within the office or in government. Even in the past, when I heard about problems in the government or geo-political arenas, I found a great sense of peace, and have witnessed wonderful resolutions in some situations. It’s heartwarming to know, too, that many others were also praying about these political problems — all of us supporting the ongoing progress of good and harmony.
So if there’s a problem, or tension, that appears to be “personal” — or personality-based — start with God! Start simply and prayerfully by knowing that our Father-Mother God alone is in full control — and that everyone involved has a direct connection to our Father-Mother. Also insist, prayerfully, that no one can be separated from their spiritual individuality and their divine source of goodness! This is because, if God (the one infinite and eternal source of good itself) cannot be separated from the good He created, neither can we — not for a moment. Then, we can hold to this divine truth, or law, which Christ Jesus boldly and lovingly demonstrated for us, knowing that we’re divinely-enabled to follow his example and teaching. In this way we can earnestly learn how to give witness to that spiritually created Christ-idea of being which animates us all. And from this basis, we can humbly strive to understand and gratefully live more of this wonderful spiritual fact: that all of us are inseparable from our good, God-based qualities!
When speaking of God’s children, not the children of men, Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within you;” that is, Truth and Love reign in the real man, showing that man in God’s image is unfallen and eternal.
—Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p.476