Although I’ve chosen a proper noun for my favorite word that starts with “P”, I’m well within the bounds of the rules I set for myself. (Use only small words, 4 letters or less.)
“What’s the big deal with all these rules?” you say.
Well, the Apostle Paul and I are both #1s on the Enneagram scale.
We like rules.
We like to make the rules.
We like to obey the rules.
We like to make sure everyone else obeys the rules.
Paul is my Bible Buddy.
Before he was Apostle Paul he was Pharisee Paul, a devotee to all things rules and laws. So much so, in fact, that he set out to arrest, imprison and seek the death sentence for all rule-breakers. In Acts 8:1, we see Paul’s dark side as he gave approval to the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
Characteristics of unhealthy Ones:
- Highly critical, both of self and of others
- Picky, judgmental, perfectionistic
- Self-righteous, intolerant, inflexible
- Corrects others, badgering them to do the “right thing”
- Is the only one who knows what the “right thing” is
But then Paul met Jesus and God began the transforming work of bringing health into his personality. God redeemed Paul’s temperament and used him to carry the gospel to the Gentile world. The man who was determined to destroy the church became the man who built it.
Characteristics of healthy Ones:
- Inspiring, hopeful and wise
- Conscientious with strong personal convictions
- Fair, objective, and ethical
- Values truth and justice
- Self-disciplined, mature and moderate in all things
I have been known to go into a business to inform them that a word is spelled wrong on their sign. Sometimes I correct PB when he puts the silverware in the dishwasher the wrong way. I shake my head at those who fold towels improperly. And I refold them. So far, I haven’t made any citizen’s arrests or breathed any murderous threats (Acts 9:1).
God is still at work in me,
transforming my not-so-healthy side of my personality
into a more grace-filled person, both toward myself and others.
Me, Mary Poppins and Paul.
My favorite word in the Bible that starts with “P” is PAUL.