Developing Strong Personality

Speaker: Rev. Shine Thomas
Posted on: 2009-09-05
Series: Christian Discipline

Introduction

We all want to be people of great strength. Some people spend hours in workout every day to develop physical strength. Some practice yoga and meditation to achieve mental strength. Some people read different publications to develop their intellectual strength. The fact is people take different routes to develop their personality.

The world has mixed views on the personality of a person. For some it is physical, for some it is emotional, for some it is based on relationships, and yet for some it is personal inner strength.

This morning I want to speak to you on how to develop a strong personality based on the Bible.

For todayís scripture portion let us turn our attention to Psalm 15.

Psalm 15:1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?

Now listen to these words Sanctuary and Holy Hill.
As the children of Israel were traveling from Egypt to the Promised Land God gave orders to Moses to build a tabernacle. In the tabernacle is the most holy place where the Ark of the Covenant is placed. The presence of God came down in the ark.

Leviticus 16:2 The LORD said to Moses: "Tell your brother Aaron not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark, or else he will die, because I appear in the cloud over the atonement cover.

Therefore the Ark of the Covenant can be said as the presence of God.

Whenever the Israelites moved the Ark of the Covenant was also taken with them. Now the people settled in the Promised Land and Saul became the first king of Israel. Israelites went to war against the Philistines in 1 Samuel 4. As they were facing heavy causalities in the war the Ark of the Covenant was taken to the battlefield. Unfortunately the Israelites lost the battle because of their sins and the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines. David became the second king of Israel. David brought the Ark of the Covenant back into Israel in 2 Samuel 6.

2 Samuel 6:17 They brought the ark of the LORD and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the LORD.

Now, we can see the presence of God dwelt in a tent. Now, read Psalm 15:1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?

Sanctuary means tent. In King Davidís time the Godís presence was in the tent of the Ark of the Covenant. Now, it was King Davidís desire to make a temple for the Lord. David made all arrangements but he could not build the temple which was in turn build by his son, King Solomon. The temple was built on Mount Moriah. The Ark of the Covenant which was in the tent was shifted into the temple. The presence of God came down into the temple now which is on the hill of Mount Moriah.

When David is telling who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? David is talking about the presence of God. David saw the presence of God move out of Israel during King Saulís reign because of Saulís sins. When Godís presence left Saul, he failed and killed himself. Now, after bringing the ark back to Israel David is learning lessons from King Saulís life. David knew the only solution for his strength was Godís presence.

OT the presence of God dwelt in the tent and then in the temple, but when we come to the NT the presence of God dwells in us.

1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Therefore if the presence of God is in us we are strong, if the presence of God is out of us we are weak and end up as a failure.

What does the presence of God do to us?

The psalm gives us two words; sanctuary or tent and hill.

A tent is a symbol for something transient and temporary. A tent is an easily moveable house. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived in tents and when they got guidance from God they moved. Godís presence gives us guidance and direction in our life.

Hill is a symbol for something permanent, secure. Godís presence in my life provides me with a sense of security that God is able to take care of my life.

Do you want direction in life? Do you want security in your life? Do you want a strong personality; all this comes with Godís presence.

How can we build strong personality?

1. Blameless Walk

Psalm 15:2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart.

God wants us to walk blameless.

Psalm 19:13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.

When I stop my willful sins I become blameless in Godís sight. Job, Abraham, David, Noah etc are all supposed to have walked blameless. Does it mean that they were sinless? John 8 says there is no man without sin. So what does it mean to be blameless in Godís sight? A blameless person does not do willful sins.

What are willful sins?
Hebrews10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.

NIV If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left.

The 'willful sin' mentioned in this context is the radical and wholesale rejection of God's offer of salvation. Under the Law of Moses there were sins that a child of God could commit and be forgiven by a sacrifice or offering; and there were other sins that required the death penalty. There was no forgiveness of those sins. After knowing the gospel if you still reject it there is no more sacrifice left. I am sure all of you have accepted Jesus as Lord.

As much as rejecting Jesus as Lord is a willful sin, habitual sin can become willful sin overtime. If we continue to sin until it becomes a habit then we willfully sin against God and against our conscience. We are in danger of losing our salvation. For habitual sins there is no sacrifice left until there is an absolute about turn.

If you want to develop strong personality accept Jesus as Lord and come out of all habitual sins. Walk blameless.

2. Righteous Work

This shows our outside deeds.

Psalm 15:2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart.

Righteous works are the works that are true and right. God wants righteous workers. Such people will work efficiently, will not cheat their boss. Will not do wrong business. Everything will be righteous.

3. Graceful Words

Psalm 15:2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart.

a. Truthfulness in Words
If you want strength and success we must stop telling lies. Speak the truth. Be honest in your speech.

Psalm 15:3 and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman.

b. Do not Slander
Slander is lying with intention to do harm to other personís reputation. The damage slander does is very high. If you steal something you can give it back or pay it back but if you slander or spoil someoneís reputation you can never get it back. It destroys the person. This person love to tell things and stories about others. They never care if the facts are right or wrong. This is also called as gossip or carrying rumors.

1 Timothy 5:13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.

The next time you enjoy someoneís gossip remember anyone who gossips to you will gossip about you tomorrow. Please do not allow your ears to become someoneís dust bin.

c. Keeping Oath
Psalm 15:4b who keeps his oath even when it hurts.
Matthew 5:33 ďDo not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the LordĒ

The Bible says our Ďyesí has to be yes and Ďnoí no. We are not to make oaths to one another. But it is human that we make oaths in Godís presence. Tell an example. The Bible says we need to keep our oaths even if it hurts.

In Judges 11:29-40 we have the story of Jephthah. Before leading the Israelites into battle against the Ammonites, Jephthah made a rash vow that he would give to the Lord whoever first came out of doors to meet him if he returned home as the victor. When the Lord granted him victory, the one who came out to meet him was his daughter. Jephthah remembered his vow and offered her to the Lord.

Keep your oath you take to the Lord even if it hurts.

4. Godly Influence

A person with a strong personality has control over his influence.

Psalm 15:4a who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord.

a. Keep away from wicked company
Illustration: There was a rich farmer who had enough money to spare. He was however sad at heart as his only son passed time in bad, wicked company. The father tried to dissuade him from bad company but to no avail.

One day the father thought of a plan. He brought a dozen mangoes. They looked ripe and tempting. The boy wanted to taste them but the father said, ďThey shall be yours tomorrow.Ē The boy was patient enough to wait. The father in the meantime placed a rotten mango in the basket. The next day the father asked the boy to bring the basket. The boy opened and saw that the entire set of mangoes were rotten. The father said, ďOne of the mangoes must have been rotten, therefore, it had spoiled the whole lot.Ē ďBeware my son if you keep the company of a wicked boy, the same will happen to you.Ē Wicked company corrupts good character. Avoid the company of the wicked.

b. Honour Godís people.

Psalm 15:4a who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord.

Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Honour Godís people, honour Godís servants. This can happen only if we can let go our pride and ego.

5. Money Management

A person with strong personality knows how to manage money.

Psalm 15:5 Who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

a. Lend money without interest.
I am not talking about putting your money in the bank. Nowadays everyone has a bank account and our salaries are deposited in the bank. If you like it or not the simple interest is added to your account. I am also not talking against putting money in deposits or bonds where you get higher returns.

When you lend money to others do not do it for interest.

Psalm 15:5 Who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

b. Do not take bribe.

c. Pay your tithes.
Tithing is very important for a child of God. One-tenth of our income is our tithe. Pay your tithe in the church you attend. The Bible says if you do not tithe you are robbing God. A thief never has a strong personality. Tithing is applicable for every one, working people, nonworking people, people in the ministry, people in business, students, old people and all age groups. The fact is everyone handles money. You need to pay a tithe of the money that you get as yours. I hope you practice this and see the deliverance God brings in your life.

Conclusion

Let us go reiterate the points for developing a strong personality.

  1. Blameless Walk.
  2. Righteous Work.
  3. Graceful Words.
  4. Godly Influence.
  5. Money Management.

When we imbibe these qualities in our life the presence of God will dwell in us and we will be in the presence of God. We will become a man of biblical personality. What happens to such personalities?

Psalm 15:5b He who does these things will never be shaken.

We will never be shaken.

I hope you will strive to develop Godly Personalities in your life. Thank you and God bless you.

This sermon belongs to the series Christian Discipline. Other sermons in this series:

  1. Quick and Slow by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 29-Apr-2013)
  2. Complacency - Why the hurry? by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 6-Oct-2013)
  3. Submit to God by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 20-Jan-2013)
  4. A watched pot never boils by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 25-Nov-2012)
  5. Imitating Godís Love by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 4-Mar-2012)
  6. Redeem your time by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 5-Feb-2012)
  7. Peace, Not Pieces! by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 29-Jan-2012)
  8. The Fear of God by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 8-Jan-2012)
  9. True Commitment by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 18-Sep-2011)
  10. The heart of accountability by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 15-May-2011)
  11. Keeping a Positive Attitude (Part 2) by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 16-Jan-2011)
  12. Keeping a Positive Attitude (Part 1) by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 9-Jan-2011)
  13. You are your Choices by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 2-Jan-2011)
  14. Developing Strong Personality by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 5-Sep-2009)
  15. To let go or not? by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 4-Jul-2010)
  16. Christian Discipline Ė Patience by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 18-Apr-2010)
  17. Evangelism Simplified by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 7-Mar-2010)
  18. Dealing with Correction by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 7-Feb-2010)
  19. Submission by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 1-Nov-2009)
  20. Are you a Truthful Person? by Rev. Shine Thomas. (Posted on 27-Sep-2009)