Personality and Truth???

Most of you know that I am currently studying at Regent College in Vancouver. Anyway, as I am confronted by many different views in the topics I am studying, and find myself challenged to ask this question: To what degree does my personality affect my understanding of what is true?

Now, many of you know that I am fairly well-tempered person. I am quite optimistic about life and tend to see the goodness in humanity rather than becoming overwhelmed by the obvious reality of our shortcomings. What I am finding is that as I explore large questions of faith and reality my personality influences my conclusions. In the context of Christian theology, for example, my personality leads me towards adopting a high view for the potential of people, especially considering we are created by God. However, how do I then acknowledge the influence of sin and the role of evil in this world as people definitely don’t always live up to my optimistic understanding? Is this ok that my personality motivates my conclusions, even when the evidence seems to challenge it?

I know this is a big question, and I need to tread carefully when coming to conclusions about reality, especially considering the influence of emotions and what not… However, I don’t feel comfortable ignoring my own personality to suit some sort of truth reality that doesn’t jive with who I am?

This discussion is definitely not over and one solution is realizing that the process of understanding truth needs to include dialogue with other people. For now I just wanted to share my tension…

2 comments:

Tim Tom said...

I think, Dave, that it is the sign of a good leader, to see the potential for good in people. Thats what God does. He knows what we were created for, what He made us capable of, and He never loses sight of that, no matter how many times we choose to be something less. So I think you are right in saying every single person has the potential for good, however the likelihood(or lack thereof) of us choosing to live in a way that is good is where our utter sinfulness and depravity becomes so evident.
And yet God remains faithful, even though we continue to be unfaithful.
Ultimately, our responsibility is not to discover who will choose to accept God, but to love people unconditionally like Jesus does. Theres a missionary who's name escapes me at the moment who felt God asking him if he would still love the people he was working with even if he knew they would never accept Christ. I think we have the same calling, to love EVERY person we come into contact with unconditionally, no strings attached, whether they piss us off or not, and to treat them like the child of a loving Father who designed them for great things. I don't think there's anything foolish or naive about loving people this way, even if the world says they are undeserving of it, or common sense says that they will treat us poorly in return. It is this extravagant love that we are called to, to value people as our father values them.

dwark said...

Tim, you're right in affirming that there's still goodness in this world, although it isn't always evident. It's so easy nowadays to become cynical towards what's happening in the world around us. Many people question the message of a loving God when there is so much injustice. Which leads to your second point about loving those around us. As a friend constantly quotes "we are the people we are waiting for."

If we truly believe God is loving and wants to impact this world we need to affirm the good that is happening and continue to practically show love to those around us...

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