What Is Personality?

James H.Cagle
jameshcagle@yahoo.com

The Bible (KJV) says, “And God said, Let us make man in our own 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. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen. 1: 26, 27).

What is meant by personality? What do we mean when we say that we are a person? What constitutes a personality? What are the marks of personality?

It has been determined that there are basically three things that constitute personality. The first is intellect, or self-consciousness, a power whereby man is able to objectify self, and make self an object of thought and judgment (Ps. 119: 59, 60; 1 Cor. 11: 28; 2 Cor. 13: 5). The second is free-will, the power of choice or self-determination, a power whereby man is able to choose his goals and direct his energies toward realizing those goals (Prov. 3: 31; Deut. 30: 19; Josh. 24: 15; Judg. 10: 14; Acts 6: 5). The third is a moral-consciousness or a sense of right and wrong, a power whereby man has a feeling or intuition that there is a thing as right and wrong and is obligated to do the right and avoid the wrong (Deut. 30: 15; Amos 5: 14, 15; Mic. 3: 2; Rom. 12: 9).

All of these powers that constitute a personality were part of man’s make-up and a reflection of God’s Personality when God created man in His own image. This personhood with its capacities is a gift given to man by his Creator. These same powers are seen throughout Scripture in the Person of God. God’s personality is perfect and complete or He wouldn’t be God. Man on the other hand has potential for either good or evil and is a developing personality.

By creating man in His image and giving man the same powers of personhood or personality as Himself, God made man with the capacity to receive revelation from God and respond to it and experience God’s fellowship. “Personality in God is necessary to account for the personality in man. And if God is not a person, man’s personal qualities are without explanation.” What would religion be without a personal God?  These powers are enhanced by God’s grace when man is saved and comes into conscious fellowship with God through Christ. These powers of personality and capacity for knowing God, are then used to make man into the likeness of Christ (Rom. 12: 1, 2; 2 Cor. 3: 18; Heb. 5: 14; 1 Jn. 3:2, 3).

Man’s personality seeks satisfaction and gratification in the fellowship of another person. That satisfaction and gratification will never be fully realized until man knows personally (in person; not by representative; particularly) the fellowship of the Person of God. The Psalmist declares this universal cry of the human heart when he says, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God” (Ps. 42: 1). Augustine said, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.”

What is a Personality?

What is a personality,
Or the marks of personhood?
What constitutes a person,
And what is meant by selfhood?
As to the marks of personality,
It is determined that there are three.
And these are a reflection,
Of God’s image in you and me.
First there is the intellect,
In the form of self-consciousness.
Whereby we objectify self,
And judge our own sinfulness.
Then there is free-will,
Or our self-determination.
Whereby we decide and set our goals,
And bring them to fruition.
Then there’s moral-consciousness,
Or our sense of right and wrong.
When we do, or not, what’s right,
And avoid, or not, what’s wrong.
The Personality of God,
Accounts for the personality of man.
If God is not a Personality,
We can’t explain the personality of man?
With our own personality,
And the capabilities thereof,
We are able to receive and respond,
To the revelation of God’s love.
God gave man a personality,
It’s the image of the Person of God.
Man’s personality is fluid and forming,
But God’s is perfect or He isn’t God.
Personality is a gift from God,
Who created man for fellowship.
Man’s personality is enhanced,
When he gets saved and seeks God’s friendship.
James H. Cagle

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