Recently I was speaking to my mother and she pointed out the differences between my brother and I, specifically in regard to our personalities. She said how when we were kids, I was often quite alright with where I was in school/life and the only way she could get me to work harder on anything was by scolding/punishing me into doing it. My brother, on the other hand, had a stubborn streak in him to rival the most hardcore of satanists who know of the real presence of Christ in the Church (come on over boys, we’ve got the Creator on our side 🙂 ). If she were to scold him, he would stubbornly refuse, over and over again. The worse the punishment got, the louder his opposition would get, since he was like three years old, mind you. Whereas sweet talking him could get you anything you’d want. To this day, though these traits have tempered over time in both of us, it is still present to some extent.
This conversation led me to reflect on why we have such different personality traits, some of which can be quite annoying, if not frustrating to deal with. I then reflected on how my natural inclination to being satisfied with my state on life and sitting still proved valuable in my life. For me, it was my saving grace when I went through a particularly trying period in my life. Without this gift within my personality, I am pretty sure I would have been lost to depression or insanity. I commented to my mother that my brother’s stubborn streak will probably also prove quite valuable in his life at some point, for sure. I thought, perhaps, it is God’s providence to provide us with such invaluable features to our own beings that assist us in our path to holiness.
Of course, everything should be tempered to some extent. My ‘satisfaction’ can err towards comfort and even sloth in the worst of circumstances. In this manner, I can become selfish and self-loving and sin profoundly in my laziness, as a result. Similarly, stubbornness is good when it is for justice and righteousness. But if left un-tempered, it can also err towards sin. I do think though that our personalities and personality traits hold some clue to what He has in store for us and the path He has laid out for us to reach.